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Nowhere to go — Jahalin Bedouin homes slated for destruction outside Jerusalem

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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.

The Guardian:

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 Israeli Committee against House Demolitions (ICHAD):

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)

Annie Robbins

Annie Robbins is Editor at Large for Mondoweiss, a human rights activist and a ceramic artist. She lives in the SF bay area. Follow her on Twitter @anniefofani

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8 Responses

  1. annie on May 10, 2012, 2:33 pm

    “This development would physically link Ma’ale Adumim to Jerusalem. With this, the two state solution will be dead. ” maybe i should have bolded that.

  2. DICKERSON3870 on May 10, 2012, 3:03 pm

    RE: “Why now? Because now we want to enforce the law.” ~ Major Guy Inbar of Israel

    MY COMMENT: Oh, the hypocrisy!

    SEE: Ulpana, high drama in the wild wild West (Bank) ~ by Annie Robbins, Mondoweiss, 4/26/12
    Israel flips 3 West Bank outposts from illegal to legal status this week. Where are the liberal Zionists who are saving the two-state solution?

    Israel has reneged on its pledge to demolish Ulpana, an illegal outpost built on Palestinian land just a stones throw from the religious nationalist settlement of Beit El near Ramallah in the West Bank. The reversal is happening days before the anticipated court-ordered demolition May 1st.
    Political intrigue ensues, for the threatened demolition had endangered Netanyahu’s Likud-coalition government, attracted international outrage and condemnation, gathered a cast of unsavory characters, and driven Haaretz editorial staff to reference Netanyahu and most of his ministers as “career criminals..undaunted by condemnation or punishment” and call for him to dissolve the government. . .
    . . . All of this is taking place during a week of Israel birthday festivities that are dominating the international press and helping to mask the story of the court case set for next Tuesday. We’ve got to blast this injustice to the far reaches of the blogosphere between now and next Tuesday so the whole world is perched on the edge of their seats witnessing the political drama/injustice unfold as Israel flips the law in favor of the outpost once again, this time to save Netanyahu’s prospects of solidifying his (religious nationalist) grip over the government. . .
    . . . Where are the liberal Zionists? I’d like to see Netanyahu try and avoid confrontation with the Beinart contingent of the American Jewish community. Are they going to step up to the plate between now (three illegal settlements flipped to legal status this week, international law notwithstanding) and next Tuesday?

    SOURCE –

    • annie on May 10, 2012, 3:19 pm

      Because now we want to enforce the law.

      good catch there dickerson..of course no one acknowledges the plan to completely sever EJ from the WB.

    • DICKERSON3870 on May 10, 2012, 3:21 pm

      P.S. RE: “Why now? Because now we want to enforce the law.” ~ Major Guy Inbar of Israel
      AND RE: “Oh, the hypocrisy!” ~ me, above

      ALSO SEE: Ulpana can’t turn into a memorial for Israel’s rule of law ~ Haaretz Editorial, 4/29/12

      (excerpt) At the same time that the prime minister and his cabinet protest against what they call “the delegitimization of the State of Israel” – and not only of the occupation – the government is constantly taking actions that underline the illegitimacy of its policies in the occupied territories. The Netanyahu government rallies to the side of developers who built and sold homes on land that belongs to others, despite demolition orders, a peremptory ruling by the High Court of Justice and the prime minister’s own promise to carry it out by the end of this month.
      On Friday, the State Attorney’s Office notified the High Court that the government was retracting its promise to carry out the eviction order against the Ulpana neighborhood of the Beit El settlement in the West Bank. Unlike the case of the Migron outpost, in which the state requested an extension of three and a half years so that the community could be moved to an adjacent hill, this time the government is requesting a stay in order to review the implementation of the policy of demolishing buildings constructed on private land in the West Bank, including those built without permits in Beit El’s Ulpana neighborhood. In its request to the court, the state posited “foreign relations, public and operational considerations” against the rule of law and the right to private property.
      It is hard to imagine a foreign-relations consideration that supports giving official authorization to robbing the property of a person living under Israeli occupation. It must be hoped that elected officials are not implying that a majority of the Israeli public wants a government that violates orders and rulings of the Supreme Court. The pretext of “operational considerations” gives rise to the proliferation of unauthorized outposts such as Ulpana under the noses of Civil Administration inspectors and Israel Defense Forces officers.
      It is a pity that the attorney general is helping to teach the public that some Israelis are above the law, and that it is permitted to spit in the face of the highest judicial instance in the land on their
      behalf. . .


      P.P.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis elaborated in Olmstead v. United States (1928):

      “In a government of law, the existence of the government will be imperiled if it fails to observe the law scrupulously. Our government is the potent, the omnipresent teacher. For good or for ill, it teaches the whole people by example. Crime is contagious. If the government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for the law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy.”

      • Bumblebye on May 10, 2012, 5:14 pm

        “Israel has the right to control Palestinian natural growth. Control of birth rates is not racism” – Ruth Gavison
        No source given for when/where quoted from, but i googled Ruth Gavison. She’s a Prof of Human Rights at the Hebrew Uni of Jerusalem. Another example of the supremacist mindset, of the people who make and enforce laws that are deliberately made to benefit only Chosen people. Those that fail to do so must be mistakes on Israel’s statute books, and either ignored or replaced with the right kind of law!

      • Chaos4700 on May 10, 2012, 6:31 pm

        Isn’t it amazing how totally not like Nazi eugenicists these people sound like? With all the deciding who enjoys the privilege of even being born, let alone who gets to bear children?

      • Bumblebye on May 10, 2012, 9:16 pm

        Along with the various bills she’s had a hand in writing, the govt committees she’s been part of, wiki has her down as a founder member of the Association of Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI). With people like her in there at the beginning, is it any wonder human rights for non-Jews seem to have gotten nowhere in either Israel or Palestine?? Such organisations are nobbled before they’re born!

      • DICKERSON3870 on May 11, 2012, 10:02 am

        “The beat goes on, the beat goes on
        Drums keep pounding a rhythm to the brain
        La de da de de, la de da de da. . .” ~
        Sonny & Cher, 1967
        The Beat Goes On (VIDEO 03:27) –

        SEE: Netanyahu, Israeli cabinet to weigh approval of illegal West Bank outpost, By Barak Ravid and Ophir Bar-Zohar, Haaretz, 5/10/12
        Likud ministers have called on the Prime Minister to sanction Ulpana Hill through legislation after the High Court rejected a state bid to postpone its demolition.
        LINK –

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