This must-see video chronicles the continued displacement of the Jahalin Bedouin community. The Palestinian-Bedouin communities live in the hills to the east of Jerusalem and have been forcibly evicted time and again. The community was issued eight eviction orders by the Israeli Civil Administration (ICA) last Sunday May 6th and was scheduled to be evicted today. This morning, 20 minutes before the demolition order was to go into effect, they got a notice of delay from the court. This is a temporary injunction preventing the demolition of homes.
This ethnic displacement is part of a larger plan to relocate Bedouin communities living in Area C. According to the film, there are 27,ooo Palestinian-Bedouin in area C, all scheduled for displacement. At 19 minutes in the video:
Is there a grand design behind all this suffering? Since 1994 Israel has sketched out plans to fill in the E1 area, east of Jerusalem. This development would physically link Ma’ale Adumim to Jerusalem. With this, the two state solution will be dead. Going right thru the center of it is the widened highway #1. Finishing the E1 plan will mean evicting all those within the area, the entire Jahalin Bedouin population. Displaced and living lives of refugees for 60 years they will be uprooted once more.
Khan al-Ahmar is one of 20 Bedouin communities in the E1 area outside Jerusalem that are scheduled to be evacuated. Bedouin families have lived in this village since 1951, after they fled as refugees from the Negev during the Israeli war of independence.
In 1975, Israel declared the area a closed military zone. Today, almost every structure has been issued with a demolition order. A spokesman for the Israeli civil administration confirmed it is negotiating with the E1 Bedouins to move them and is investigating the dump as a possible relocation point.
“We are waiting for the results of an investigation into the health impacts of living on that site,” Major Guy Inbar says. “I know they don’t want [to move] but because they are living illegally, we have to find a better option within the law. Why now? Because now we want to enforce the law.”
The communities have been informed by the Israeli authorities that they have no option but to leave the area, as part of a larger plan to forcibly transfer, in defiance of international law, Bedouin communities living in Area C (Jerusalem periphery, Jordan Valley, and south Hebron Hills), where Israel retains control over security as well as planning and zoning…..
The ICA officers informed those present in the community that “the community had built illegally, and that Area C was not for Palestinians.” Furthermore, ICA informed the Az-Zayyem Arab al-Jahalin Bedouin community on May 3rd, that a demolition will take place in their community, effective immediately, following the lift of an injunction order protecting the structures.
Settlers from Regavim, a militant organization based in the nearby settlement of Kfar Adumim, harassed the Khan al-Ahmar Kurshan residents earlier today. They photographed all structures in the community. At the time, ICAHD Co-Director Itay Epshtain, and Field-Coordinator Salim Shawamreh were providing protective presence in the community, and were told by settlers, that they were gathering information on Bedouin structures with the intent of approaching the ICA to urge them to demolish community homes.
An appeal filed by the lawyer for the community against the eviction orders was rejected this afternoon, May 8th, and the ICA is most likely to demolish the eight family homes as early as tomorrow afternoon. According to recognized legal opinions the current planning and permit regime, and other Israeli practices and policies in Area C, violate International Human Rights Law and International Humanitarian Law on several counts (more information available here). It is the duty of third states to ensure respect of international law. The EU Heads of Mission Report on Area C (July 2011) strongly recommended that EU member states promote economic development in Area C, and increase visibility and accountability for the delivery of aid and development architecture in Area C.
ICAHD has called the EU to immediately exert diplomatic pressure on Israel, and call it to account for the threatened demolitions in Khan al-Ahmar as well as in Az-Zayyem.
For more information on the growing risk of displacement faced by Arab al-Jahalin Bedouin, please refer to the ICAHD publication ‘Nowhere Left to Go’.
According to the FOSNA “the injunction does not have an expiration date. However, the Israeli Civil Administration has seven days to provide its response to the court regarding this decision. This response will guide any further decisions of the court.”
This is excellent news. Thanks to all the people who have been working tirelessly to prevent the displacement, once again, of the Jahalin Bedouin.
“Nowhere left to go – The Jahalin Bedouin“ was filmed and directed by Harvey Stein, produced by Angela Godfrey-Goldstein. Narration by Alice Walker.
(Hat tip Kathleen Eschen-Pipes)