Ministerial committee approves measure aimed at curbing Bedouin polygamy

Gianluca Pacchiani is the Arab affairs reporter for The Times of Israel

View of the Bedouin village Khan al-Ahmar, in the West Bank on January 23, 2023. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
View of the Bedouin village Khan al-Ahmar, in the West Bank on January 23, 2023. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The Ministerial Committee for Bedouin Affairs approves a measure aimed at countering polygamy within the community by changing the government’s land allocation policy in Bedouin villages.

The decision, put forth by Social Equality Minister Amichai Chikli and Justice Minister Yariv Levin, establishes that no additional land plots can be allocated to men who maintain a household with more than one wife, under ongoing government efforts to resettle Bedouins in recognized towns.

Until now, large family units were eligible for additional land parcels and a financial grant as part of the settlement process, which according to the committee’s statement “was an indirect incentive for the continuation of the trend of polygamy, which harms women, children and society as a whole.”

In a statement, Levin says that the measure is part of a comprehensive package promoted by the Justice Ministry to remedy the “grave social injustice” of polygamy.

Most Popular