Israel: Ethnic Groups

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 13th November 2015.

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Photo of Anne Main Anne Main Conservative, St Albans

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what the outcome was of his Department's visit to Um-il-Hiran and Ateer; whether he plans to visit that region; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Tobias Ellwood Tobias Ellwood The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

Officials from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and our Embassy in Tel Aviv visited three Bedouin communities in the Negev, including Um al Hiran, on 5 August. This visit, arranged through the Negev Coexistence Forum for Civil Equality (NCF), deepened our understanding of the constant risk of demolition faced by both recognised and unrecognised Bedouin villages; the restrictions on construction in even Government-planned Bedouin towns; and the unequal provision of services to communities of different ethnicities in the Negev. We remain concerned about this situation and will continue to work with partner countries, to address the inequalities.

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