Over the past months, the residents of the Bedouin unrecognized villages ʿAtīr and Umm al-Ḥīrān were waiting for the Supreme Court decision, hoping that the judges will rule that an extended hearing will be held about the future of their villages. Yet, the Supreme Court rejected today, January 17, the request for extended discussion, upholding the court’s former decision - that the state can demolish these two villages and uproot their residents.
The villages of ʿAtīr and Umm al-Ḥīrān were uprooted from their ancestral lands already in the 1950’s and were ordered by the military regime to move to their current location. Now, about 60 years after, the Supreme Court ruled that the state can uproot them once again in order to extend the Yatir Forest on the village of ʿAtīr and establish the Jewish town of Hiran on top of Umm al-Ḥīrān.
The Negev Coexistence Forum works with the residents of ʿAtīr and Umm al-Ḥīrān for years, and will keep supporting their residents in their struggle for justice. The decision to destroy two villages in order to plant a forest and establish a new Jewish town is racist, inhuman and unjust, and we will struggle against it together, Bedouin and Jewish residents of the Negev.