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The story of the friends of Jahalin

Photo on the Jahalin Friends page

Photo: Nadav Yaniv

"Friends of Jahalin" is a volunteer group established in 2017 to raise awareness about the plight of the Jahalin Bedouin communities in the Judean Desert and to advocate for their full rights and opportunities, with their consent, while ensuring equality. The group is apolitical, with members representing a broad spectrum of political beliefs in Israel. Therefore, the group does not endorse any specific political solution. Its overarching goal is the equality of rights for the Jahalin communities in the Judean Desert, rejecting any notion of different populations having disparate rights under the same authority.

The group provides assistance to Jahalin tribe members facing survival difficulties and confronts selective enforcement and harassment by extremist right-wing associations and their Jewish neighbors. Its activities are diverse, encompassing support for livelihood enhancement initiatives, defense of family rights against authorities, targeted aid to struggling families, tourism development and educational tours, lectures in schools and educational institutions, implementation of projects and social activities, and provision of medical assistance for complex cases. Collaborating with the military, police, and civil administration, the group conducts field surveys, engages in social media awareness campaigns, and advocates for fair press coverage of events in the area, all while striving for consensus-driven solutions.

The activists are volunteers, and the group's entire budget relies on donations from private individuals.

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