Adalah demands that Planning Authorities complete a master plan for the recognized village of Al Fura’a in the Naqab

10,000 residents of the the recognized village of Al Fura’a in the Naqab are facing imminent forced displacement and dispossession.

The Palestinian Bedouin community of Al-Fura’a in the Naqab (Negev) in the south of Israel is facing imminent, forced displacement, despite the formal recognition of the village by the Israeli government in 2006 and its inclusion in the district outline plan. The Bedouin Authority has refused to complete a detailed master plan for the village of 10,000 residents. Further, the construction of a phosphate mine in Sde Barir would seize and expropriate land from Al-Fura’a while creating serious health and environmental hazards for the local populations. 


On 2 November 2020, Adalah Attorney Suhad Bishara sent a letter to Authority for Development and Settlement of the Bedouin in the Negev (“Bedouin Authority”), planning authorities, and the Attorney General demanding that the planning authorities act immediately to complete a descriptive, local, and detailed master plan for the village of Al-Fura’a. No local master plan has been approved for the village despite 15 years passing since its recognition.


CLICK HERE to read Adalah’s letter (2 November 2020) [Hebrew]


In a response dated 4 November 2020, the Bedouin Authority clarified that the planning for the village was stopped due to the promotion of the Sde Barir phosphate mine project, announced at the beginning of 2019.


CLICK HERE to read the response of the Authority (4 November 2020) [Hebrew]


The construction of the phosphate mine requires the seizure and expropriation of land from Al-Fura’a, while creating serious health and environmental hazards for the local populations.  In January 2019, Adalah filed a petition to the Israeli Supreme Court against the plan for the phosphate mine, on behalf of 168 residents of Al Fura’a, the Regional Council for the Unrecognized Villages in the Negev, the Associaiton for Civil Rights in Israel, Bimkom, and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (See: HCJ 512/19 Younes Dhabsha v. The National Council for Planning and Building (case pending)) Instead of planning the recognized village of Al-Fura’a, the Authority intends to forcibly transfer and displace its residents, dispersing them to various localities in the Naqab.


Due to the absence of a local plan, the village has not been developed and the villagers do not receive many basic services. These circumstances contradict the decision to recognize the village, which came with the stated intention of allowing construction in the village, enabling its connection to infrastructure, and furthering its future development. After fifteen years, and for the first time, a response was received from the Authority stating surprisingly that the village will not be planned and its residents will be relocated.


In a follow-up letter on 22 February 2021, Adalah argued that the Bedouin Authority’s decision not to plan Al-Fura’a and to transfer its residents violates their constitutional right to dignity, and shows a blatant disregard of their lives and their right to live on their land and maintain their way of life. Adalah further argues that the Authority’s decision also violates both the government’s decision to recognize the village and the district master plan that includes it.  


CLICK HERE to read Adalah’s letter (22 February 2021) [Hebrew]


In response to the second letter, dated 25 May 2021, the Bedouin Authority claimed that it had begun planning for the village in  four neighborhoods in the area, as, in their view, the only possible option given the planned phosphate mine and the resulting health and environmental safety concerns. The Southern District Planner rejected this plan already almost a year before in June 2019, stating that it would not be possible to plan these neighborhoods in their location, and that the Authority should provide alternative solutions. The Bedouin Authority further stated that it subsequently suggested to convert the planned town of Kasif and to relocate the residents of Al-Fura'a there, although this plan is still under discussion by the relevant authorities. If approved, this move would mean the displacement of all the residents of Al Fura’a and the confiscation of their lands.


CLICK HERE to read the response of the Authority (25 May 2021) [Hebrew]


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Israeli Supreme Court hears arguments against the construction of the Sde Barir phosphate mine in the Naqab, 28 July 2021