INTRODUCTION: Israel's only Bedouin member of Parliament, Sheikh Hamad Abu Rabiya, who was murdered on Monday (12 January) night, has been buried at his home village in a remote part of the Negev desert.
GV Crowds of mourners ZOOM IN TO coffin being taken from helicopter
CUs of Bedouin leaders wearing mourning headbands
GV Sheikh Hamad Abu Rabiya's coffin being carried through massed crowds (3 shots)
SV Body being placed in grave
CU President Navon speaking in Arabic as other officials look on (3 shots)
SV Bedouins crying
GV Crowds and solitary mourners (2 shots)
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Background: INTRODUCTION: Israel's only Bedouin member of Parliament, Sheikh Hamad Abu Rabiya, who was murdered on Monday (12 January) night, has been buried at his home village in a remote part of the Negev desert. The funeral was attended by many prominent Arabs and Israelis, including President Yitzhak Navon.
SYNOPSIS: Sheikh Rabiya's coffin was flown in to the village near Beersheba on Tuesday (13 January) by helicopter. Extra police had been drafted in to prevent any attempt at revenge by his fellow Bedouin tribesmen.
Thousands of mourners attended the funeral, an indication of the Sheikh's influence among the Bedouin. He was known as a fierce defender of the tribesmen's rights against attempts by the Israeli administration to expropriate land. His killing came at a time of growing controversy over the rights of the Bedouin -- many of whom claim to have been driven unfairly off their lands.
After the coffin was lowered into the grave, President Navon addressed the mourners. He appealed to the Bedouin to show restraint and leave the murder hunt to the police.
Israeli authorities have detained a number of suspects in connection with the Sheikh's murder. They believe it was either the result of a Bedouin feud or an act of vengeance carried out by an extremist Jewish sect.
The Sheikh had been involved in a bitter political row before his death over his refusal to vacate his Knesset seat for a rival Bedouin leader.