[News] Palestine - Umm al-Hiran - bulldozers set to move on Bedouin
news at freedomarchives.org
Mon Nov 21 13:29:56 EST 2016
State opposes final appeal against demolition of Umm al-Hiran;
bulldozers set to move on Bedouin
New Jewish town of 'Hiran' to be built on ruins of Arab Bedouin village
in Israel's south; demolition to move forward despite court recognition
residents are not illegal trespassers.
The Israel Land Authority (ILA) has notified Israel’s Execution and
Collection Authority (ECA) that the demolition of the Arab Bedouin
village of Atir-Umm al-Hiran is slated to begin tomorrow, Tuesday, 22
In response to a request filed by Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab
Minority Rights in Israel seeking to freeze the demolition process, the
ILA's legal representative responded, "the evacuation is set for 22
November 2016, this coming Tuesday." The ILA also announced it has hired
a private contractor to carry out the demolition at the cost of NIS
119,000 (~US $30,760) (not including tax) and that "the costs of
enlisting police officers, the as-of-yet-undetermined cost of bolstering
forces, security, sealing of the perimeter, and coordination of vehicles
for the purposes of arrests and curbing opposition must also be taken
Adalah responded to the ILA today, 21 November 2016: "In parallel to the
Israeli government's efforts to legalize the Amona settlement in the
West Bank – in direct violation of international law and Israeli Supreme
Court rulings – the government is moving to demolish a village of Arab
Bedouin citizens of the state, without offering them any suitable
alternative housing. Even though the Supreme Court ruled that residents
of Atir-Umm al-Hiran are neither illegal trespassers nor criminals, the
state insists on demolishing the village as the sole option."
In 2015, after a 13-year legal battle, the Israeli Supreme Court decided
by a 2-1 majority to authorize the state's plan to demolish Atir-Umm
al-Hiran and forcibly displace its approximately 1,000 residents for the
sole purpose of establishing a new Jewish town named "Hiran" over its
ruins. Earlier this year, the Court rejected Adalah's request to
re-consider this judgment and to hold a second hearing on the case.
The case of Atir-Umm al-Hiran is a clear example of dispossession and
displacement for strictly racial reasons;the only reason the village is
being demolished is to allow the state to establish of a new Jewish town
with accompanying range of land.
The state initially expelled residents of present-day Atir-Umm al-Hiran
from their original lands in the village of Khirbet Zubaleh by military
order in 1956. The Court has recognized that residents, members of the
Abu al-Qi’an Bedouin tribe, were not illegal trespassers – as initially
claimed by the state – but were indeed moved there by the state.
Nonetheless, the Supreme Court ruled that, because the village residents
are on "state land," the state could retake it and do with it as they
wished. The Court did not question why the new Jewish town had to
replace the Arab village, when there exists vast and empty lands in the
surrounding area. The Court also ignored the Bedouin residents’
political, social and historical roots to the land.
*ADALAH POSITION PAPER: The dangerous implications of the Israeli
Supreme Court’s decision to allow the forced displacement of Atir-Umm
al-Hiran for the remaining unrecognized Bedouin villages in the Naqab
(Negev), February 2016*
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