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Daily Israel Report

'Illegal Bedouin Land Grab near Jerusalem'

The Bedouin land grab has moved to the Jerusalem area. The High Court is to hear on Monday an appeal against the “outposts” near Maaleh Adumim.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 11/9/2009, 9:36 AM / Last Update: 11/9/2009, 9:48 AM

Israel news photo

The High Court is scheduled to hear a petition on Monday against the growing land grab of Bedouins between Jerusalem and Maaleh Adumim, located east of the capital. The Bedouins have copied the tactic that has enabled them to take over thousands of acres in the Negev and threatens to turn the Jewish population in the area into a minority.

Regavim, dedicated to preserving national land, argued in its petition that the Bedouin tents and buildings interfere with the natural growth potential of the areas Jewish communities. The suit also complains of selective enforcement of building laws in favor of the Bedouin tribes.

It alleges that the Bedouins damage the environment and infrastructure that provides utilities to area residents. Bedouins also herd their sheep, camels and mules on the roads, causing a danger to motorists.

Bedouin development increasingly dots Judea and Samaria, establishing a de facto Arab dominance over government land. In the Negev and Galilee, tens of thousands of illegal shacks and shanties remain standing in hundreds of villages that the government calls “unrecognized.”

Regavim recently petitioned the High Court for a timetable for the destruction of six giant luxury Arab villas that were illegally-built in a village near the Jewish town of Beit El, located north of Jerusalem.

Another petition resulted in the destruction of several illegal Arab structures near Kiryat Arab-Hevron, between Jerusalem and Be’er Sheva, that were built with money from the European Union-funded organization Oxfam.