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HRW blasts Israeli confiscation of Palestinian Bedouins’ land

20 May 2015 18:19


Human Rights Watch has condemned a zionist Israeli court ruling on the expropriation of Palestinian Bedouin lands, saying the verdict will pave the way for the eviction of Palestinians.

“It is a sad day when Israeli Supreme Court decisions provide legal cover for forced evictions, as in the case of these two villages,” Sarah Leah Whitson, HRW’s Middle East and North Africa director said in a statement on Wednesday, said in reference to the villages of al-Araqib and Shariaa in northern Negev.

The Israeli Supreme Court has ordered the confiscation of a 100-hectare piece of land, owned by Palestinian Bedouins, near the two villages.

The land is the inheritance of the Palestinian al-Ukbi tribe, who have dwelled there and farmed the land for decades.

But the Israeli Supreme Court ruled that the ground should be registered under the name of the so-called Israeli Development Authority.

“The Israeli government should let these communities stay where they are, not force them to move yet again,” Whitson said.

The court decision ignores “international law in upholding discriminatory evictions by the Israeli authorities in the occupied territories,” she added.

Israeli military in 1951 forcefully relocated the al-Ukbi tribe to the village of Hurah, 20 kilometers east of al-Araqib, citing security reasons.

Bedouin villages in the desert frequently come under attack by Israeli forces. More than 150,000 Bedouins live in the occupied Palestinian territories, mostly in and around Negev.

Nearly half of Bedouins live in villages where Israel denies access to water and electricity.

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