On 5 May 2015, after 13 years of litigation, the Israeli Supreme Court issued its final decision in the case of the Arab Bedouin vilage of Umm al-Hiran, located in the Naqab (Negev) desert. The decision allows Israel to carry out its racist plan to demolish the vilage and forcibly displace its residents, for the sole purpose of establishing a new Jewish town called ‘Hiran’ over its ruins.
The Court recognized that the residents were not illegal trespassers – as initially claimed by the state – but were moved there in 1956 by Israeli military order, after being displaced from their original vilage of Khirbet Zubaleh. Nonetheless, the Court ruled that, because they were on ‘state land’, the state could retake it and do with it as they wished. The Court did not ask why the new town had to replace the Arab village, when there were vast and empty lands in the surrounding area. The Court also ignored the Bedouin residents’ political, social and historical roots to the land.