Intensification of Environmental Conflicts Resulting from Rural to Urban Transformation: The Case of Arab Localities in a Changing Galilee

  • Hussein Tarabeih University of Haifa
  • Rassem Khamaisi University of Haifa
  • Deborah F. Shmueli University of Haifa
Keywords: Urbanization in Arab Communities, Environmental Conflicts, Environmental Planning and Administration, Land Acquisition, Contact Zones


The present study investigates the relationship between atmospheric conditions in Arab society in Israel is a traditional one, undergoing rapid urbanization processes within their communities. This is transformative for both individual and community lifestyles (i.e., changes in demographics, education, economics, agriculture, industry, residential patterns, and expansion of built-up areas), and at the same time creates environmental problems and conflicts. Hazards are emerging and existing environmental problems are worsening impacting land, water, sanitation and animal-husbandry. This paper examines and characterizes the environmental conflicts that develop within Arab localities and in interface zones within which the Arab and Jewish populations converge. Fundamental failures are exposed in planning policy, licensing and enforcement, and lack of an established environmental administrative structure within Arab towns. The intricacies of planning within the localities, disregard of environmental issues, and the failure of local and central government decision makers to recognize that environmental hazards extend across town borders, perpetuate environmentally-unfriendly planning solutions within and adjacent to Arab localities.


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