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For the information of Minister Ben Gvir: the governance in the Negev will not return without cooperation with the local government - voila! native


Special for Walla! A local, Nir Zamir, head of the Bnei Shimon Council: "As someone who was born and lives in the Negev, I call on the government not to throw the baby out with the bathwater. When you come to formulate a national plan

Less than a month ago, the 37th government was sworn in in Israel, carrying on its banner the issue of returning governance, which was a central part of the election promise to the public.

The issue of policing in the Negev has become in recent years, and even more so since the Guardian of the Walls, one of the main challenges for the residents of the Negev who deal every day with phenomena of the absence of policing such as wild trips on Negev roads that endanger their lives, shooting that sometimes leads to stray bullets into houses, break-ins and thefts in agricultural areas, littering Illegal in the open areas and more.

All of these have become routine in our lives, and therefore the new government's decision to put the issue of governance at the top of the list of priorities is a welcome one for the residents of the Negev.

But just before the government formulates plans, and makes announcements, it is worthwhile to listen to the residents who live here and see how things look from the suffering of the Negev residents - who on the one hand are eager to restore order and law to the Negev and on the other hand want to continue to maintain the delicate fabric and common life with our Bedouin neighbors.

There is a lot to be done to restore governance, but the first thing that is required is to realize that this is not the problem of the Negev residents only, it is a problem at the national level and as such it must be treated in all respects.

The lack of governance in the Negev has been a known issue for many years to the decision makers, but it seemed that the local government was left alone in the battle.

With many efforts and cooperation between the local authorities, we were able to promote a series of local measures.

For example, we were able to bring the first council policing unit in Israel to the Bnei Shimon Regional Council, which increased the presence in the field, increased the security budget in the settlements, created excellent cooperation with the MGB and the police. But when a network operates alone, it is not enough. A council's ability to influence the situation is limited From my experience as head of the council, I know that even if Bnei Shimon struggles and produces relative peace, the phenomenon does not disappear but 'migrates' to another place in the Negev. That is why I believe that the state needs to stick its hands in the mud and create national solutions.

First, a government program must be implemented that coordinates together the relevant government ministries that work in full cooperation to eradicate the phenomenon.

There is no place here for ego and power battles, an action mechanism must be created quickly and efficiently that can restore peace to the Negev and that will work together with the local government.

We have the most experience and the most in-depth knowledge of the area, we must be a part.

Where one of the first required actions is increasing enforcement and providing effective tools in the field that will create deterrence.

Take for example our fight against the phenomenon of illegal waste dumping, here you can see the lack of governance in the Negev through the environment.

The Bedouin sector lacks infrastructure to deal with the waste and is forced to dispose of it in unregulated places throughout the Negev.

Many contractors take advantage of this loophole and come from all over the country to dump construction waste in our space in order to save the dumping fee.

They do this because the fines they receive for dumping waste are lower than the landfill fees they saved.

That way you don't create deterrence.

Those who are affected by this are the residents who are forced to live under piles of garbage, polluting fires, and enormous damage to their desert environment, among other things from the contamination of the groundwater.

If we had the appropriate budgets, a national plan that looks at both the enforcement and the regulation of the issue of waste in the Bedouin settlements, we could eradicate this phenomenon.

But alongside the urgent actions required in the field, there is also an acute need for in-depth work.

In our work together with the Bedouin sector in recent years, we have seen that when efforts are made to integrate the Bedouin community into education and employment, there is a decrease in crime and there is an increase in the desire to uphold the law and continue to lead a good and quality life.

For example, in the industrial areas of Bnei Shimon, there are great efforts to integrate key parts of the Bedouin sector in employment, in running joint education programs of nature activities in gardens and schools, and more.

The direct encounter between the populations of different ages, the economic and educational opportunities, create hope and a desire to be a part, to keep the law and not to destroy what has been built.

It is impossible to build a complete plan to deal with the governance problem and ignore the Bedouin sector, most of which, like us, suffer from these phenomena.

The residents of the Negev have all been waiting for a long time for the issue of governance to be put on the government's agenda.

It seems that the current government has an opportunity.

As someone who was born and lives in the Negev, I urge the government not to throw the baby out with the bath water.

When you come to formulate a national plan that is required, take the knowledge and experience of the local government.

Only together can we restore peace to the Negev.

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Source: walla

All news articles on 2023-01-16

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