After an eight year legal struggle led by NIF grantee Adalah, the Be’er Sheva District Court upheld a 2011 ruling cancelling 51 demolition orders in the Negev village of Alsira. This case is an important legal precedent for all unrecognized Bedouin villages in the Negev, and means that the 350 Bedouin citizens of the village will remain in their homes.
Judge Tali Haimovich wrote in her decision: “The appeal revolved around a village that was built before the establishment of the state, and has existed since [then] without any problems…there would need to be a strong and genuine public interest to justify the need for uprooting 350 people from their homes and displacing them.”
The villages of Atir and Umm al-Hieran, home to 1,000 people, are also facing demolition orders. Adalah attorney Suhah Bishara said that she hopes the Alsira decision “will guide the courts to issue similar decisions to cancel the demolition and eviction orders in those villages, which have existed for more than 50 years.”