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Israel arms company relocation endangers 1,200 Bedouin structures in Negev

Israeli forces can be seen demolishing Palestinian homes in the village of Umm Al-Hiran, Negev [File photo]

Israeli rights groups have filed an objection to the planned relocation of an Israeli arms company site due to the danger posed to the area’s Bedouin residents.

Legal rights centre Adalah and planning rights group Bimkom filed the objection to the relocation of the IMI Systems (formerly Israel Military Industries) facility to the Ramat Beka area on behalf of a number of Bedouin villages and the Regional Council for the Unrecognized Villages in the Negev.

According to the groups, the planned weapons testing facility which is 27,770 acres large is “more than twice the area of the city of Tel Aviv (12,850 acres)”, and is located “amidst multiple Bedouin communities and will expose residents to health, safety and environmental risks”.

The plan “would also impose severe building and development restrictions on 1,213 structures in the concerned villages and is liable to result in the forced displacement of area residents.”

READ: Israel demolishes Al-Araqeeb for 135th time, arrests residents

The objection claims that the plan as it stands “disproportionately violates the right of area residents to dignity, life, health, and to environmental justice”, and demands that “Israeli planning authorities reject the move or find an alternative that does not harm the area’s Bedouin residents”.

According to the press release, “the establishment of the high-risk military industrial zone in the heart of a populated area means that local residents were not taken into account when preparing the plan and that they are seen as…a ‘problem’ that can be solved through eviction.”

The Demolition of Khan Al-Ahmar by the IOF – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

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