Delegation of S&D Members of the European Parliament to carry out fact-finding mission today in the Naqab
A delegation of MEPs from the Socialists and Democrats (S&D) group of the European Parliament will be touring the Naqab as part of a fact-finding visit to Israel and Palestine.
The delegation will include the Chair and Vice President of the S&Ds, and Chair of the Delegation, MEP Elena Valencia, as well as the Standing Rapporteur for Israel and Palestine in the European Parliament Committee on International Trade, MEP Maria Arena and on Foreign Affairs, MEP Eugen Freund. Also in attendance will be Chair of the European Parliament Committee on Development, MEP Linda McAvan and Group Coordinator in the European Parliament Committee on Development, MEP Norbert Neuser with the Group Coordinator in the European Parliament Subcommittee on Human Rights, MEP Soraya Post. Members of Knesset from the Joint List, including MK Yousef Jabareen, head of foreign affairs for the Joint List, as well as the Mossawa Center and the Regional Council for Unrecognized villages in the Naqab will together accompany MEPs to various selected locations in the Naqab region and meet with local residents from the Bedouin community who suffer from home demolition and land confiscation.
The visit comes after Members of the Knesset, accompanied by the Mossawa Center and Rosa Luxembourg Stiftung visited the European Parliament in November 2017 to discuss the challenges faced by the Arab community in Israel. In December 2017, MEPs then submitted a question for a written answer to the Vice President and High Representative of the European Commission asking what additional action will be taken by the European External Action Service (EEAS) in response to the legislative developments proposed by the Jewish Nation-State Bill.
The focus of this visit by MEPs in the Naqab will be a fact-finding mission on March 26 of some of the unrecognized villages in the area, including the Bedouin villages of Abu Talul, Umm al-Hiran and a women-focussed NGO in Lakiya. The Mossawa Center, in coordination with Members of the Joint list and the RCUV, will be sharing community knowledge with MEPs about the problems faced by residents of unrecognized villages, including the systemic lack of basic infrastructure and the regular demolition of homes. Indeed, MEPs will seek to understand the complex challenges surrounding the recognition of Bedouin villages as well as a history of village evacuations and the confiscation of lands. This will also include exploring the consequences of the state’s neglect for the Bedouin communities living in both recognized and unrecognized villages.
The tour will culminate with a visit to the recognized village of Lakiya to understand how recognition can still mean inadequate provision of services, building restrictions, and regular demolitions. The group will also meet with the community organization, Desert Embroidery, to understand how women in the Naqab collaborate to secure their rights and those of their community.
You can find the press release with S&D Members call for saving the two-state solution after visiting Israel and Palestine here.