The government can turn the situation in the Negev around – by enacting five practical recommendations that arise from the State Comptroller's in-depth and comprehensive report published today. Let's discuss the fourth:
4. Creation of a Municipal Authority under the auspices of the Bedouin Authority: The fact that Bedouin municipalities provide services to the squatters’ camps that lie beyond their own jurisdictional borders, places even greater stress on already-weak local governments.
Aside from the more basic question of the legality of this “arrangement” – in which municipalities are active beyond their jurisdictional lines – it invites large-scale corruption and waste.
The solution: The creation of a separate authority responsible for providing municipal services to the squatters’ camps, under the jurisdiction of the Bedouin Regulation Authority, will relieve the existing local authorities of the burden they are currently shouldering.
As in all other areas of the country, the Bedouin municipalities of the Negev will maintain responsibility for the provision of services only for the citizens living within their jurisdiction. This will clarify where each resident of the unrecognized settlements is to receive services and significantly reduce double-reporting, corruption, and waste.
The new Municipal Authority will be a less localized body, making it much stronger and less easily manipulated than local authorities, and subject to far fewer local pressures.