Negev Beduin file objection to IDF complex

Residents object to the establishment of a military ‘Intelligence City' complex in their neighborhoods.

Beduin take part in protest in Beersheba 521 (photo credit: Reuters)
Beduin take part in protest in Beersheba 521
(photo credit: Reuters)
A group of Negev Beduin residents and their supporters filed an objection this week to the establishment of a military intelligence complex in their neighborhoods.
The residents are contesting an IDF plan to establish an “Intelligence City” that would move its intelligence units from the country’s center and concentrate a number of different bases into one.
They argued to the Southern District Planning and Building Council that the IDF is choosing to move the intelligence units from one populated place to another, and that it could choose to relocate the base in an unoccupied region that is within the army’s authority.
In addition to representatives from six local Beduin families, the objectors include the Regional Council for Unrecognized Villages, the Adalah Legal Center and Bimkom – Planners for Rights.
All of the groups argue that the plan would lead to the uprooting of thousands of Beduin living there.
Meanwhile, the local council of Lakya has also filed a similar objection, according to the group.
The intelligence complex would be located in the Beersheba region, between the city of Beersheba and the Beduin communities of Lakya and Um Batin, the objectors wrote. The site would encompass an area of more than 500 hectares (about 1235 acres) and would include the construction of six-story buildings that would comprise more than 600,000 square meters.
More than 9,000 Beduin inhabit the general region, 2,000 of whom actually live within the area slated to become the “Intelligence City,” the objectors said.
The objection notes that many of the local residents filed applications in the 1970s to claim the land as their own, but that the state froze the land settlement procedure, leaving their applications still pending.