ACRI Submits Objections to the Beersheba Metropolis Plan

Regional plan does not recognize 35 Bedouin villages, many of which have existed for decades, centuries

In October 2007, ACRI, as part of a coalition of human rights and community organizations, submitted six objections to the National Committee for Planning and Building against the partial District Plan for the Beersheba Metropolis. The plan repeatedly and systematically violates the basic human rights of some 50,000 Bedouin citizens, living in 46 unrecognized villages in the Negev. The plan allocates the land of existing villages for purposes other than Bedouin communities, such as forestation and industrial zones, even though these villages have existed for centuries. In total, the plan excludes 35 villages. Exclusion forces residents to live outside the law, in horrid conditions without basic services, and under the constant threat of house demolitions and expulsion. Such extreme neglect by the state planning authorities constitutes a severe violation of many basic rights, including the right to live in dignity, the right to proper housing, the right to health and education, and others.

The Plan was published on June 7, 2007 in the media; most residents of the unrecognized villages found out that their homes were not included in the plan, and were in danger of demolition, through the media announcement. ACRI had until October 30 to submit objections, and cooperated with Bimkom – Planners for Planning Rights, the Regional Council of Unrecognized Villages, the Arab Center for Alternative Planning, and the Negev Coexistence Forum to prepare the documents. The coalition chose six communities as paradigms of the challenges facing Bedouin residents of unrecognized villages. The communities are: Wadi Al-Na’am, A-Sera, Rachama, Sawa, Hashem Zane, and El-Ghara.

Click here for background information on discrimination against the Negev Bedouin.

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Categories: Arab Citizens of Israel, Housing Rights, Land Distribution and Planning Rights, Negev Bedouins and Unrecognized Villages, Social and Economic Rights

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