pr 08-06-04

10  May 2009

Adalah: Police Blockades at Entrances to Arab Bedouin Village of Tarabeen al-Sana (‘Amra) in the Naqab are Illegal

On 3 May 2009, Adalah sent an urgent letter to the head of the Police in the Naqab region demanding the immediate dismantling of police blockades set up at the entrances to the Arab Bedouin village of Tarabeen al-Sana (‘Amra) in the Naqab (Negev).

In the letter, Adalah stated that police erected blockades at all the entrances to the village in April 2009 and are stopping all vehicles entering and exiting the village, questioning drivers and checking their identity cards and drivers’ licenses. Police are also forcing everyone travelling in cars to disembark and then conducting a search of the vehicles, as well as a body search of the passengers in some instances. The police are also carrying out random checks of villagers, who are Arab Bedouin citizens of Israel, and questioning people walking in the streets. Adalah stressed that there is no reason for these measures, which are being carried out in the absence of a suspicion that the person being questioned or checked has committed an offense.

Adalah Attorney Morad el-Sana, who filed the letter, argued that the procedures being employed by the police form part of a policy of continuous and escalating harassment of the people of Tarabeen al-Sana by various authorities, first and foremost the mayor of the neighboring Jewish town of Omar, Benni Badash. Badash is attempting to uproot the people of Tarabeen al-Sana from their land in order to market it to the residents of Omar, one of the wealthiest towns in Israel.

Adalah emphasized that the actions of the police are illegal and that the police do not have the right to erect blockades, to impede the movement of citizens, to investigate their personal and private affairs, or to search their cars, belongings or persons for no reason and without any suspicion.

These procedures violate the constitutional rights of the residents of Tarabeen al-Sana, in particular their right to freedom of movement, Adalah argued. Moreover, this degrading and humiliating treatment contradicts their right to dignity, which is a constitutional right under Israel’s Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty.

Adalah indicated that these actions represent an extension of the police’s racist policy of erecting blockades in Arab towns and villages, as it has also done in East Jerusalem, Arab neighborhoods of Led (Lod) and the Arab village of Jisr al-Zarqa.

The Letter (Hebrew)




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