UPDATE: Josh Berer has a detailed first-hand account. Photos added below credited to Berer.

Folks on the ground report that on Thursday morning, two policemen arrived at the mosque in Wadi el Na’am, signaling the beginning of the demolition. Mahmoud, who received the orders from the Israeli government about the mosque demolition, negotiated with the police. Joined by several volunteers and international journalists, the demolition did not continue.

Bustan and the Regional Council of Unrecognized Villages celebrated this victory, along with asking the international community to keep the pressure on. They report that there is a high probability that the Israeli government will return next week, most likely in the early morning hours with no notice to carry out the demolition at a tim with little to no witnesses to document and protest.

Mahmoud a former IDF officer, is currently serving on reserve duty, when he leaves Wadi el Na’am not knowing if when he returns whether the mosque will be there or not.

“Today, I wouldn’t let my son serve in the army,” he said. “I served from age 18 to age 27. I was a soldier. I was ready to die for the sake of the country. Now, I see there is no need… When you wear the uniform you have value, when you take it off, you don’t.”

They ask that you continue to contact Israeli government officials to stop the demolition as an immoral and inhumane act. Mobilize your community, protest in front of your Israeli embassies, let them know that people are watching, and are fiercely opposed to the mosque demolition, as another testament to the need for a big old slap-in-the-face reality check to the administration, that Israeli Bedouins deserve, and should receive, equal rights.

Contact information and a sample letter to help those righteous juices of indignation-into-action flow:

Itzhak HaKohen, the Minister of Religious Service
Fax: 02 6706157. izchakec@knesset.gov.il

Meir Shitrit, the Minister of Interior
Fax: 02 6408920. mshitrit@knesset.gov.il

Zeev Boim, the Minster of Housing and Construction, and Minister responsible for the Israeli Land Authority, and the Bedouin Minority.
Fax: 02-6496062. zaevb@knesset.gov.il

I am writing to express my strong concern at the news of the proposed destruction of the Mosque in the village of Wadi el Na’am.

If Israel is to live up to its promised potential as a bastion of human rights and tolerance in a world of persecution and greed, it must commit to true democracy. In a democracy, citizens are engaged in decisions about the use of the land on which they live. With no such process in place for the people of Wadi el Na’am, I adamantly oppose the demolition of this Mosque. As stewards of the public interest, I
trust you will take all necessary action to ensure that Wadi el Na’am residents are given the rights and respect inherent in their Israeli citizenship.