District Court Approves Forced Displacement of the Bedouin Village of Ras Jrabah

Despite the court’s ruling that the residents were permitted to reside on the land and had lived there since at least 1978, it ordered the entire population of over 500 residents to demolish their homes and evacuate the village by the end of 2024. The forcible displacement of Ras Jrabah, a village that predates the establishment of the State of Israel, is intended to make way for the expansion of the Jewish city of Dimona.

On 3 June 2024, the Be’er Sheva District Court dismissed Adalah’s appeal against a lower (magistrate’s) court decision greenlighting the forced displacement of the entire population of the Bedouin village of Ras Jrabah, in the Naqab (Negev, southern Israel), over 500 people. The district court ordered the residents to demolish their homes and evacuate their village  by 31 December 2024.  


    CLICK HERE to read more about the appeal 

    CLICK HERE to read the decision [Hebrew]

     Civil Appeal 21579-01-24 Al-Hawashleh et. al  v. The Israel Land Authority (Hebrew)


The appeal, filed on 9 January 2024 by Adalah Attorney Myssana Morany, argues that the magistrate’s court’s decision, issued in July 2023, to approve ten eviction lawsuits filed by the state against all residents of Ras Jrabah endorses segregation and violates the residents’ most basic rights. According to Adalah, this violation is exacerbated by the reason for the state’s attempts to evict the people of Ras Jrabah - who are members of a national minority living in their homeland - namely, to make way for a new neighborhood of the Jewish town of Dimona. It therefore constitutes clear racial discrimination, prohibited under both Israeli domestic and international law. Adalah has represented the residents of Ras Jrabah throughout the legal process. 


Following a hearing held on 29 May 2024, the district court concurred with the magistrate’s court in acknowledging that the residents of Ras Jrabah had resided in the village since at least 1978, almost 50 years. However, unlike the magistrate’s court, the district court ruled that the appellants had an implied right to reside on the property and were not trespassers. This right, according to the district court, derives from the Israel Land Authority's awareness of the villagers' decades of residence on the land, during which it did not take any action against them. Nevertheless, the court also found that this right could be revoked at any time by the property owner, which, under Israel’s public land regime, is the state. Thus, the right was nullified once the ILA sent eviction notices and filed lawsuits against the residents of Ras Jrabah.


The court further determined that, in accordance with an Israel Land Authority Council Resolution, the Israel Land Authority can allocate plots to Bedouins without a bidding process, but only within Bedouin villages and towns. As a result, the court ruled that the Authority is precluded from allocating plots to the residents of Ras Jrabah in the new neighborhood of Dimona, which is planned to be built on the ruins of the Bedouin village.


Adalah argues that this decision demonstrates the depth of segregation in Israel: according to this decision, government authorities can refuse, and even claim not to be authorized, to consider integrating Bedouin citizens into Jewish cities, and as a result they are forcibly relocated to Bedouin towns. This policy entrenches systemic segregation, and is designed to concentrate the Bedouin population onto a minimal area of land in exclusively Bedouin towns.


The court dismissed Adalah’s claims of segregation altogether, claiming that “the appellants, like any other individual, will be entitled to participate in the bids for purchasing plots [of land] in the neighborhood to be built on the land. Therefore, there is no basis for the claim of inequality compared to other potential residents who will also seek to participate in these bids”. The court thus held that there was no racial segregation, solely based on the fact that individuals from Ras Jrabah are not prevented from purchasing land in the new neighborhood of Dimona, to be built on the ruins of their village.


The court cited a statement made by the coordinator at the Bedouin Authority about where the appellants would be relocated, noting: “First of all, we do not throw anyone into the street, whether we have agreements or disagreements… No one will be thrown into the street until a solution is arranged. The last thing the Bedouin Authority wants is to throw people into the street.”. This statement is extremely misleading. In fact, the Bedouin Authority is specifically tasked with displacing Bedouin residents and relocating them to impoverished, exclusively Bedouin townships. In many cases, it carries out home demolitions without providing any agreed-upon alternative housing. In 2023 alone, state authorities demolished 3,283 structures, many of them homes, leaving more than 300 residents homeless. As recently as May 2024, all 75 buildings in the Bedouin village of Wadi al-Khalil, including 47 homes, were demolished, leaving over 300 residents without housing.


Immediately following the District Court’s ruling, the ILA responded to repeated requests from Bimkom – Planners for Planning Rights, on behalf of the residents of Ras Jrabah, who sought to negotiate their integration into the new neighborhood of Dimona. The ILA's response indicated that there was currently no room for discussion on the matter, citing the court's decision as self-explanatory.




Ras Jrabah covers an area of 340 dunams (approximately 84 acres) of land belonging to members of the Al-Hawashleh tribe, who have lived there for generations. Ras Jrabah is adjacent to the Jewish city of Dimona, which was built on the land of the Al-Hawashleh tribe. The residents of Ras Jrabah – represented by Adalah – have been fighting the state’s attempts to evict them since May 2019, when the ILA filed 10 eviction lawsuits against the residents, ordering them to evacuate their homes. The stated justification for the evictions is to allow for the expansion of the nearby Jewish city of Dimona on the land of Ras Jrabah. The residents were presented with a single option: to relocate to the nearby Bedouin town of Qasr Al-Sirr. 


The magistrate’s court issued its decision to approve the eviction lawsuits in July 2023. In its appeal, Adalah argued that the magistrate’s court had committed a grave error in concluding that the residents of Ras Jrabah did not have a rightful claim to the land. Despite acknowledging that the village has existed in its exact location for 45 years, according to its assessment, and notwithstanding the village’s subsequent development, the judgment inexplicably deemed its residents to be present in their homes unlawfully, portraying them as trespassers rather than members of a longstanding community. 


CLICK HERE to read more about the Magistrate’s Court decision

CLICK HERE to read English translations of excerpts of the Magistrate’s Court decision


In 2022, prior to the ruling of the magistrates’ court, UN human rights experts expressed concern about the forcible evacuation of Ras Jrabah. They noted that, “approximately 500 Bedouin residents in the village of Ras Jrabah, unrecognized by Israeli authorities, are facing an imminent threat of eviction”, and called on Israeli authorities to “immediately halt evictions and housing demolitions which could cause irreparable damage to the traditional way of life of the Bedouins, their livelihoods, their cultural practices, and the relationship to their land”.


Related Press Releases:


Adalah Appeals Court Decision Greenlighting the Forced Displacement of the Bedouin Village of Ras Jrabah 01/02/2024


Israeli Court Approves Forced Displacement of the Bedouin Village Ras Jrabah to Expand the Jewish City of Dimona 27/07/2023


Following Hearing in Be’er Sheva Magistrates’ Court and Submission of Closing Arguments, Residents of Ras Jrabah Await Court Decision on their Lawsuit Against the State’s Attempt to Evict them from their Homes 30/06/2023


Adalah: Israel Land Authority’s attempt to forcibly displace 500 Palestinian Bedouin residents of Ras Jrabah to expand the primarily-Jewish city of Dimona is illegal and must be cancelled 15/05/2022


Court to hear Adalah’s defense arguments against evacuation of 500 residents of Ras Jrabah 14/06/2020