After the standard 60-day embargo on releasing such communications, the 12 October joint letter of seven UN Special Rapporteurs (SRs) to the Israeli government is now public. The SRs on adequate housing, cultural rights, human rights defenders, the rights of indigenous peoples, the human rights of internally displaced persons, minority issues, and on racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance have raised their serious concern about the home demolitions, lack of security of tenure, risk of forced eviction and arbitrary displacement of some 90,000 Palestinian inhabitants of “unrecognized villages” in the Naqab region, within the State of Israel.
The SRs’ communication identifies those at-risk villages as al-Araqib, Wadi al-Khalil, Ra’s Jaraba and al-Buqay`a, and specify the Israeli state’s imposition of criminal and administrative sanctions on Sheikh Sayah al-Turi and other members of the Abu Madhi’m al-Turi family for defending their land rights. They point out also that these violations form part of a pattern of practice observed by UN Human Rights Treaty Bodies and several foregoing SR communications.
This communication refers to the Bedouins in the Naqab as both an “indigenous group” and “part of the Arab Palestinian minority in Israel.” To resolve any confusion that may arise, HLRN clarifies that the Bedouin of the Naqab are an integral part of the indigenous Palestinian people living inside the State of Israel, the Israeli military occupied territory of Jerusalem, West Bank and Gaza Strip, as well as the majority of Palestinians in exile as a result of the ethnic cleansing carried out by Israeli forces at the middle of the last century.
Any reply from Israel will be published on the OHCHR communications reporting website.
See the complete SR communication here.
For More information, see: The Goldberg Opportunity: A Chance for Human Rights-based Statecraft in Israel
Photo: A Palestinian woman sits in front of her home in the village of al-Araqib after its demolition on 13 October 2010. At the time of the SRs’ joint letter to the State of Israel, Israeli forced had demolished al-Araqib for the 178th time, after which, the residents have rebuilt their village.