A new wave of demolition orders, stop-building orders, property confiscations, settler harassment and multiple warnings of imminent eviction by the Israeli Civil Administration has rendered Bedouin communities in the Jerusalem periphery exhausted of alternative coping strategies. They are now appealing for international protection to resist forced displacement and relocation.
Groups most immediately at risk due to the recent intensification of pressure include the communities of Khan al Ahmar and Wadi Abu Hindi (both located in the proximity of Maale Adumim settlement). As from May 2011, all structures in Wadi Abu Hindi have stop-building orders and the community was issued with a reminder that the land they locate has been confiscated for the building of the Barrier. This week the emblematic community of Khan al Ahmar has received 4 new stop building orders and notification that final stop work and demolition orders on 10 to 12 residential houses have been issued and will now be executed.
Home to the well known ‘rubber-tyre school’ the community of Khan al-Ahmar has hosted numerous visits by senior visiting officials and been the focus of international press coverage. With little further legal protection available to them, the Jahilin community is aware that this latest round of orders may trigger an imminent demolition in their community. They call for your support.
© Ben Guss
The Jerusalem periphery is one of the most strategic geographical areas of Area C for development. Barrier construction plans and expansion plans for Maale Adumim, Kfar Adumim and other surrounding settlements are currently being hindered by the presence of over 2,300 Bedouin in 20 communities. The execution of the proposed Israeli development plans in an area also strategic for Palestinian development would effectively divide the northern West Bank from the southern West Bank. Recent intensification of pressure by the Israeli Civil Administration on many of these communities comes hand in hand with verbal offers of re-locating the Bedouin into purpose-built villages in semi-urban locations. Such proposals of re-location packages are viewed with caution by the Bedouin population, many of whom have already experienced multiple counts of displacement. Many communities report that current and increasing Israeli practices and policies are making day to day life unbearable in their current Area C locations and could potentially exhaust the communities into accepting the re-location deals.