Israeli government block new school for Bedouin village

MEMO 26/08/19

The Israeli government has moved to stop construction of a school in an unrecognised Bedouin Palestinian village, after pressure from a notorious right-wing group, reported Haaretz. According to the report, a Finance Ministry department that enforces planning and building laws has issued the stop-work order for the high school at al-Zarnug in the Negev.

Haaretz stated, pro-settler group Regavim “has put pressure on the authorities to halt the school’s construction”. “Obviously, building a school for the local population is an act that makes illegal settlement more permanent”, Regavim said. “Moreover, it gives residents an erroneous message that the state is shirking its responsibility for enforcing planning and building laws in this area, in contrast to its commitment in court”. The local regional council had already begun building the prefab school, with work due to be finished before the opening of the new school year …  The village of al-Zarnug has a population of several thousand, whom the Israeli state ultimately plans to forcibly relocate to Rahat. Regavim argues that “public buildings should not be built on land slated for evacuation”, a position supported by Yair Maayan of the Authority for Development and Settlement of the Bedouin.

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