The majority of the Bedouin community in the south of the country, situated within the cities of Be'er Sheva, Dimona and Arad, has been making inroads into new areas of the Negev desert over the past years.
A new Bedouin outpost recently established near Arad and facing Masada and the Dead Sea, includes 17 illegal structures.
The Regavim movement, which closely monitors illegal construction in the Negev, revealed that the illegal Bedouin construction northeast of Arad has risen by about 1,200% in recent years.
The number of illegal structures went up from 78 in 2005 to 97 in 2010. In the following years, the scope of illegal construction has skyrocketed: by 2015, 511 buildings had been erected in the area, and 2020 saw that number reach 961.
While the prevalent school of thought holds that Bedouin development is limited to the three southern cities, in recent years that growth has spread out far into the desert approach to the Dead Sea.
The Regavim movement appealed to the National Unit for the Enforcement of Planning and Building Laws and the Green Patrol to demand that supervision and enforcement procedures be enforced against the new cluster of illegal housing. The unit responded, saying that the issue was under investigation and the KKL-JNF's Green Patrol, who's stated goal is to, "prevent hazards in the forest, will report on special incidents and assist visitors," has yet to comment, even though a month had passed since the appeal was placed.
Evyatar David, Regavim's Field Coordinator for the Southern District, explains, "The accelerated expansion of the Bedouin community in recent years must light a red and prominent warning light among all state authorities and no less among citizens - especially now - on the eve of Knesset elections." David adds that, "the state must stop the construction of the new Bedouin towns now and move residents into permanent placement with infrastructure, electricity, roads and educational institutions. If it fails to act, a few years down the road, it may be too late to reclaim these lands."