UN HUMAN RIGHTS EXPERTS have urged Israel to stop the eviction and demolition of a Bedouin village in Israel that will forcibly displace hundreds of residents, in a bid to expand Jewish-only settlements.
“Thousands of Bedouin citizens of Israel living in the Naqab are facing threats of eviction to make way for more Jewish-only towns, military bases, and other major infrastructure projects that exclude the Bedouin people and their development interests”, they warned on 3 June.
The experts expressed particular concern that approximately 500 Bedouin residents in the village of Ras Jrabah, unrecognised by Israeli authorities, are facing an imminent threat of eviction. The Israel Land Authority (ILA) filed 10 eviction lawsuits against 127 residents of Ras Jrabah and their families in May 2019. Israel is seeking to force out the residents, pushing them into segregated, impoverished Bedouin-only towns in order to expand the primarily-Jewish city of Dimona. On 22 and 23 May 2022, the Beer Sheva Magistrates’ Court held hearings in the case.
“While the State calls the residents ‘trespassers’, in fact, members of the Bedouin minority have lived there for generations”, the experts said.
They called on the Israeli authorities to immediately halt evictions and housing demolitions which could cause irreparable damage to the traditional way of life of the Bedouins, their livelihoods, their cultural practices, and the relationship to their land.
The issue of forced evictions targeting the Bedouin minority in Israel and demolitions and destruction of their property, has been raised by UN experts in the past, including calls to “refrain and desist from actively pursuing segregationist policies and practices, resulting in the violation of the right to adequate housing and the prohibition of discrimination”. The experts expressed regret that the Government of Israel has yet to respond to these communications and continues to deny the basic human rights of the Bedouin minority.
The experts are in dialogue with the Government of Israel on this issue.