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Amman: A controversial plantation effort by the Jewish National Fund on Palestinian-owned land in Israel’s Negev region has threatened to blow up the razor-thin ruling coalition in Israel.

Zafar Farah, the head of the Mosawa (Equality) NGO, told Arab News that the dispute had been going on for weeks.

Farah said: “Last week, security-guarded JNF personnel dug up the area of ​​Sawa in the Negev.

“Knesset member Mansour Abbas, whose list received 40 percent of his vote from Palestinians in the Negev, came to the area and promised that the plantation would be closed.

“It did not happen because JNF came against this Monday. Abbas responded by threatening not to vote in favor of any government legislation in protest.

The Israeli coalition needs four votes from Abbas to maintain its one-man majority of 61 out of 120 Knesset members.

Farah told Arab News that his organization has three demands.

“We call on the government to recognize the rights of Palestinian landowners, issue building permits to the 36 unrecognized villages where 100,000 Palestinian citizens of Israel live, and that the Third JNF be dissolved.”

Botras Mansour, a lawyer and political analyst in Nazareth, told Arab News that Abbas needs to show his constitution that it can protect him and his rights.

“The government has already approved the provision of electricity to unlicensed homes in Israel. Even though the implementer is right-wing Interior Minister Aylette Shek, the coalition needs to understand the needs of one of its partners. Now he needs to use his power to end the controversial involvement of JNF.”

Wadi Abu Nasser, director of the International Center for Consultation, told Arab News he was not sure of the outcome of the situation in the Negev. Israel’s strategy to seize land through plantations has seen the kingdom control more than 90 percent of the land. Nasser warned that Israel was seeking greater gains.

“It seems that MK Mansoor has temporarily averted the crisis, but it will be interesting to see what happened to the 30 inmates now in jail,” Nassar said.

The Association for Civil Rights in Israel tweeted that “the intention of the JNF’s ‘forest’ is clear: to seize as much land as possible and prevent Bedouin communities from accessing their land.”

Jessica Montel, executive director of Hamokade, a Jerusalem-based human rights organization, tweeted: “Don’t be fooled by any green-wash. JNF’s mission is to oust Arabs/Palestinians.”

Ofer Zalzberg, director of the Middle East program at the Herbert C. Kellman Institute, told Arab News that the disagreement in the Negev is particularly challenging because the issue pertains to land ownership and use, thus creating national and religious sentiments on both sides. .

Furthermore, the coalition faces simultaneous pressure from both ends: right-wing parties in the government are criticized by Likud for betraying compromise ideals; And Ram, – Abbas’s Islamic Party – whose electoral base is heavily dominated by Negev Bedouins, has been criticized for complicity in the Israeli land grab by the Joint List and the northern branch of the Islamic movement.

“The alliance is likely to overcome this and in doing so indicate that it can also address differences regarding highly symbolic matters.”