In a judgment issued on 27 July, the Beersheba Magistrate’s Court said residents of the village of Ras Jrabah must leave their homes, and vacate the lands where their families have lived for decades, by March 2024. The court also ordered residents to pay a fine of 117,000 NIS (approximately $31,700) to cover legal expenses.
Heba Morayef, Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International, said that “this judgment shows how Israel’s deeply discriminatory laws around land and property ownership are used to enforce apartheid against Palestinian citizens of Israel, who are systematically denied the same rights as Jewish Israelis.”
“The clock is ticking for Ras Jrabah’s residents, who have just months to pack up their lives and leave the only homes they have ever known, to make way for the expansion of the Jewish-majority city Dimona,” she added. “It is yet another attempt by Israeli authorities to minimize the Palestinian presence in the Naqab, under the guise of development.”
Morayef pointed out that the “judgment underscores the need to dismantle Israel’s apartheid system, right now. The international community must put pressure on Israeli authorities to scrap these cruel plans, and end their policy of forcibly evicting Palestinians in the Naqab.”
Moreover, Al Adalah, the legal organization representing the residents, notes that the Ras Jrabah eviction plans are part of a broader policy of replacing Bedouin Palestinians with Israelis in the Naqab area.