KKL-JNF's Position on the Bedouin Issue

 
The tree planting done by KKL-JNF all over Israel is done only in designated areas, and in accordance with national master plans as determined by the planning authorities of the State of Israel—the Israel Lands Administration (ILA). KKL-JNF develops land only in areas designated in the master plans as instructed by, and as requested by the ILA, which are state lands or KKL-JNF lands. The areas in which KKL-JNF has done land development are not within the territory claimed by the El Arakib!

 
KKL-JNF has never evacuated families or planted a single tree in areas that are being addressed in courts of law, and this includes the four land parcels in El Arakib, which are currently being discussed in the Beersheba Circuit Court. The legal dispute is between a number of Bedouin clans, who are claiming ownership of these lands, and ILA, who claims that these lands are owned by the State. Therefore, KKL-JNF is not a party in this conflict and is acting lawfully and only in accordance with the instructions and supervision of the courts.
 
At the present time, KKLJNF is in the midst of dozens of projects for the benefit of the Bedouin sector in the Northern Negev, with an investment of millions of shekels. These include Nahal Grar Park, which is in the city of Rahat, which will rehabilitate the banks of the streambed and improve the quality of life in the city, and the Wadi Atir development project—an agricultural-ecological farm for the Bedouin sector, which will be providing employment opportunities, tourism and commerce. The Wadi Atir project was chosen, in honor of Green Earth Day, by the Yediot Aharonot daily newspaper as one of ten leading green projects in Israel. It is being carried our for the benefit of and with the participation of the Bedouin population.
 
Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael -Jewish National Fund is the largest green organization in Israel and one of the largest in the world, and will continue its work on hundreds of projects for environmental development and afforestation throughout the State of Israel for the benefit and welfare of the general population. This includes continuing to invest in, and develop, the lands of the entire Negev in order to prevent northward desertification (a common phenomenon worldwide, which causes a loss of land fertility) and erosion, and in order to create a green lung for the local residents for the purposes of grazing, tourism and recreation.