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The glossary is comprised of nearly 250 terms related to the Israeli-Palestinian context. Given the rapidly shifting landscape, these terms cannot capture the full range of nuances, narratives and historical events. This tool is meant as a starting point and we encourage you to continue your exploration of this topic through further research. Last update and review: September 2015.


Derived from the Arabic term "badawi" (Arabic for "desert-dweller"), Bedouin is a general name for Arab nomadic groups. There are Bedouin communities on both sides of the Green Line; predominantly in the Naqab/Negev desert, the South Hebron Hills, and the Jordan Valley. Once characterized by a nomadic and rural lifestyle, the Bedouins in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) have largely become sedentary as a result of Israeli government policies, which aimed to settle the Bedouin population in planned communities since the 1960's. Two major disputes between the Bedouin communities and the State of Israel persist: land ownership-many Bedouin do not have ownership papers for the land on which they have traditionally lived-and unrecognized villages, which Israel does not consider legal and therefore does not provide infrastructure or services. Israel's Bedouins are among the most impoverished and marginalized of Israeli citizens, and Bedouins both inside Israel and in the OPT face regularly face displacement and destruction of their villages. See "In Israel's Desert, A Fight for Land," Ben Lynfield, The Christian Science Monitor, February 20, 2003; and "Negev Bedouins - Info Sheet," The Association for Civil Rights in Israel, February 5, 2009; and "From Al-Araqib to Susiya: Adalah Releases New Film for Nakba Day" by Adalah: The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, 2013.