Bedouin one example of the elimination of adequate Palestinian housing
On January 3rd the Government of Israel published the memorandum of a bill named “Regulation of the Bedouin settlement in the Negev“, in which in states the steps to be implemented in order to relocate the overwhelming majority of the residents of the unrecognized villages and confiscate about 2/3s of the land remaining in their possession. Within the bill are what some consider violent measures to ensure its implementation. This bill is currently going through the legislative process in the Knesset, and soon may become law.
UN Special Rapporteur says some Israeli policies create “new frontiers of dispossession of the traditional inhabitants, and the implementation of a strategy of Judaisation and control of the territory”
Read full version of her initial findings or the conclusions below:
Israel has been ruling the lands between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean for more than 40 years. After the Oslo agreements, Israel retained official temporary control over the vast majority of the occupied West Bank (Area C). At present, more than half a million Israeli-Jews, have settled in the occupied territories, including East Jerusalem. Throughout my visit, I was able to witness a land development model that excludes, discriminates against and displaces minorities in Israel which is being replicated in the occupied territory, affecting Palestinian communities. The Bedouins in the Negev – inside Israel – as well as the new Jewish settlements in area C of the West Bank and inside Palestinian Neighbourhoods in East Jerusalem – are the new frontiers of dispossession of the traditional inhabitants, and the implementation of a strategy of Judaisation and control of the territory.
In different legal and geographical contexts, from the Galilee and the Negev to the West Bank, I received repeated complaints regarding lack of housing, threats of demolition and eviction, overcrowding, lack of community development, the disproportional number of demolitions affecting Palestinian communities and the accelerated development of predominantly Jewish settlements. The Barrier makes visible what the territorial planning regime has silently implemented for decades, and the blockade is the most extreme expression of separation as a restriction to survive and expand.
In all my interviews with Palestinian citizens of Israel as well as my visits to Palestinian communities, I was impressed by the collective sense of frustration and extreme insecurity with regard to their housing and property rights. I also observed a complete lack of faith that the Israeli military, political or judicial authorities would take effective action to protect their rights, which are enshrined in international instruments to which Israel is party.
It is important to note that Israel’s spatial strategy has been heavily shaped by security concerns, given the belligerent, conflictive nature of Israel-Palestine relations, with waves of violence and terror. But certainly the non-democratic elements in Israeli spatial planning and urban development strategies appear to contribute to the deepening of the conflict, instead of promoting peace.
Additionally, within Israel, privatization, deregulation and commercialization of public assets has undermined the declared goal of the Jewish foundation of the State of Israel – to provide a safe and adequate home for all Ishuv regardless of nationality or income level.
It would appear therefore, that the Israeli planning, development and land system now violates the right to adequate housing not only of Palestinians under Israeli control, but also of low income persons of all identities, who find it increasingly difficult to obtain housing under existing policies. Both aspects of this discriminatory system should be changed to allow all people under the Israeli regime to attain the most basic human right for adequate housing, within the framework of dignity and equality.