Court annuls demolition of Bedouin village

by Ilana Curiel (Dec. 6, 2011 – Ynet)

The Kiryat Gat Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday ordered the State to cancel 51 demolition orders issued against the illegal Bedouin village of Alsara.

The judge criticized the State for issuing the razing orders in 2006, even though the families have been living in the village for decades, and while there was no immediate necessity for the land.

Adalah, the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, appealed on behalf of the village residents to revoke the orders. According to the petitioners, some 530 Bedouins have been residing in the village for over 80 years, without being provided with alternative housing solutions by the State.

Judge Yisrael Akselrad stated in his ruling that, while he does not condone illegal construction and building violations, in this particular case there was no urgent reason to demolish the village.

“The difficult reality facing the Bedouin population in Israel requires a comprehensive solution as soon as possible,” the ruling stated.

Alsara residents expressed satisfaction at the decision, which they claimed was long overdue. “This is an unprecedented decision regarding the future of the Bedouin villages that are unrecognized by the State,” said Attorney Suhad Bishara from Adalah.

“This means the State cannot continue implementing its policy toward the villages in a unilateral manner without taking under consideration the fundamental rights of residents,” she added.

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