Bedouin don't have rights
Israel’s Supreme Court made a significant ruling this week, setting a precedent for the state to approve the expropriation of Palestinian land in future cases, specifically inside Israel. The court rejected a five-year old petition filed by the Al Uqbi family to recognize its ownership over a large plot of land in Israel’s Negev/Naqab Desert. The land also includes the unrecognized village Al Araqib, which is still in its own legal battle for recognition from the state. Al-Araqb by now has been destroyed over 80 times by the authorities.
The petition called for recognition of ownership over the family’s historical lands, from which they were expelled in the 1950s. The ruling, which went largely un-reported in the Israeli media, effectively means the state does not recognize Bedouin rights to the land, clearing the path for it to continue to legalize the expropriation of Palestinian lands, whether inside Israel or in the West Bank.
The lawyer of the AlUqbi family, Michael Sfard, said: “The bottom line is: hundreds of thousands of Bedouin have lived for centuries in the Negev, but as the court astonishingly said, the Bedouin way of life does not create any legal rights in the lands they lived on and cultivated for generations.”