In May 2019, the Southern District Planning and Building Committee approved the plan for the “Ramat Beka Special Industrial Area.” The purpose of the plan is to build a complex in Ramat Beka, and transfer the Israel Military Industries factories from the Sharon area to this new complex in the Negev. The site will cover a huge area of 113,000 dunam, and will be used to manufacture, refurbish, and test out a variety of weapons.
The Ramat Beka complex is located in the heart of an area in the Negev where thousands of Bedouins liveת as residents of villages such as Abu Karinath, Umm Matnan, Wadi al-Mashash, Wadi al-Noam, and Isawayin. The plan will expose these residents to health, environmental, and safety hazards, and will result in the demolition of 1,213 village buildings.
In the objection that we filed to this planת in partnership with Adalah and the Negev Regional Council for Unrecognized Villages and on behalf of the residents and members of the local village councils, we claimed that the residents were not taken into account in the preparation of this plan. As the objection states, “an in-depth evaluation of the legal planning documents, the blueprints, and the regulations clearly shows that, according to the plan, the Bedouin citizens living near the proposed site of the complex are irrelevant. The plan either completely ignores the existence of the Bedouin residents in this area, or regards them as a problem that can be solved by expelling them from their homes and ignoring their rights as citizens.”
In light of this, we requested that the plan be postponed in its current form, and that alternative options be examined in its place that do not violate the fundamental rights of the Bedouin citizens living in this area. We request that a plan be approved that includes a fair solution, in full partnership and cooperation with the residents.