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  • ACRI

Allow the Bedouin Communities of Nahal Hava & Wadi Arika to Maintain their Traditional Way of Life

On February 1, 2024, we petitioned the High Court of Justice (Hebrew) together with Bimkom on behalf of 84 residents, against amendment 89 to the District Outline Plan (NOP) 14/4 and two government decisions requiring the Bedouin communities of Nahal Hava and Wadi Arika to relocate to the community of Abda. Both communities have been living in unrecognized settlement centers in the Negev Mountains for decades, and make a living from tourism and traditional agriculture.

The petitioners argued that Change 89 and the government decisions force both communities to leave their places of residence and, as a result, the tourism and agricultural projects that are their source of livelihood. They argued that these decisions were discriminatory, insensitive to the uniqueness of the communities, and violated their right to preserve their heritage and culture. We presented the alternative proposed by the residents, which would respect the wishes, heritage and needs of the communities: amend the plan in such a way as to allow the two communities to remain as two neighborhoods far from the village of 'Abda, which include traditional Bedouin agricultural and tourism centers and are based on community life.

The petition describes, at length, the systematic, blatant and ongoing discrimination of the state in planning Jewish settlements as opposed to Bedouin communities in the Negev. Thus, among other things, Bedouin residents of the Negev are subject to planning principles that limit the establishment their communities and subsequently have difficulties accessing basic resources, while many of the Jewish residents of the Negev live in localities with a very small number of residents, some of which were even retroactively regulated even though they were established without approval. ACRI also mentioned the incredibly poor planing of Israeli authorities resulting in several Bedouin communities concentrated in one locality, densely, without regard for the needs of the population and while destroying the tribal structure of the communities, thus condemning them to live in poverty and unemployment.

HCJ 1046/24 Harnik v. Committee for Principal Planning Issues of the National Planning and Building Council



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