Bedouin Palestinian families, along with Israeli human rights groups, have urged the country’s Supreme Court to halt the construction of “dangerous” phosphate mine in the Naqab (Negev) desert.
Legal rights centre Adalah, a number of Bedouin residents, the Regional Council of Unrecognised Villages of Negev, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, Bimkom – Planners for Planning Rights, and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, jointly filed the petition against the project.
According to Adalah, the Sde Barir phosphate mine project “was approved on the basis of an environmental impact assessment survey that ignored the existence of the area’s 15,000 Bedouin residents, including those who live in Al-Fura’a.”
“Construction of the mine will result in the immediate evacuation of thousands of Bedouin residents – citizens of Israel – and the exposure of thousands more to serious health hazards,” Adalah stated.
The context for the mine project is a number of plans being pursued by Israeli authorities “to forcibly transfer 36,000 Arab Bedouin citizens” in order to “expand military training areas and implement what it called ‘economic development’ projects”.
A hearing on the petition will be held at the Supreme Court tomorrow.