A human rights organization based in the Occupied Palestinian Territories says Israel is promoting “racist policies” by deciding to set up Jewish settler units at the site of two Bedouin villages.
On Sunday, Tel Aviv approved the setting up of the two new towns of Hiran and Kassif with 14,500 settler units in the southern Negev region.
Hiran is set to be built with 2,500 settler units at the site of the Bedouin villages of Umm al-Hiran and Atir.
The Adalah rights group said that Tel Aviv’s decision to set up settler units at a time when it is “developing the Prawer Plan, under which dozens of Bedouin villages will be demolished and thousands of dunums of land confiscated” reflects Israel’s “racist policies towards Arab Bedouin citizens.”
Tel Aviv should “recognize the historical rights of the Bedouin to their land and work to open a dialogue with the people and their representatives” and stop its “policy of dispossession against the indigenous people,” the group also said.
The new town of Kassif, which is expected to be built with 12,000 housing units, will be settled mainly by ultra-Orthodox Israelis.
Israel has built more than 120 settlements in the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and al-Quds (Jerusalem) since its occupation of the lands in 1967. Tel Aviv continues to expand the settlement construction that is seen as the main obstacle to the peace in the region.
More than half a million Israelis live in the illegal settlements across the occupied territories.