The Israel Lands Authority has not given up on lands seemingly lost to Bedouin, and has evicted a tribal clan – for the seventh time – from a 100-acre plot in the Negev that it illegally overran.
The area in question is near Giv’ot Bar, a young community that is set to become the largest town in the Bnei Shimon Regional Council.
The Bedouin clan took up residence on the large plot of land alongside the Negev train route that is currently being paved, and illegally planted 800 olive trees and fruit trees there. The area had been leased to a different Bedouin tribe for seasonal use at a rate of two shekels per dunam ($2.20 per acre) – but another clan, the Abu Zeid of the Al Turi tribe, threw them off the land and planted the trees, in violation of various court orders.
The court cases on the matter began back in 2001 when the Abu Zeid clan first took over the land. The ILA, together with the Green Patrol, took action today to “fulfill the court orders and maintain and protect state lands against infiltrators and trespassers,” according to an ILA statement.
The problem of Bedouin takeover of Negev lands is a complex issue comprised of a number of challenges, including their claims of possession over the land, the lack of enforcement of building and planning laws, the lack of foundations, a low level of economic development, sparse settlement in a western state, polygamy and an accelerated birthrate.
In December 2008, the Public Committee for the Proposal of Bedouin Settlement Arrangement Policy for the Negev, after researching the issue for one year, submitted its proposals to the Minister of Housing. However, its recommendations, as those of previous committees, were only partial and were not seriously adopted.