Bedouin homes demolished in Anata: the latest chapter in one family’s Nakba
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Bedouin homes demolished in Anata: the latest chapter in one family’s Nakba

***image2***On Thursday 20 September, a large unit of Occupation forces descended upon the Bedouin community of Arab Al-Jahalin on the eastern edge of Anata village, North East of Jerusalem, destroying seven animal shelters, two zinc houses, a storage unit and a fence.

The raid destroyed property belonging to the Jahalin and Abu-Dahuk families. Khamis Suelem Jahalin, Mahmoud Khamis Suelem Jahalin, Khudera Masar Abdul-Aziz Abu-Dahuk, and Yusuf Ibrahim Abu Dahuk and Ali Ibrahim Abu Dahuk all had property destroyed. The families had no time to retrieve their belongings as the bulldozers moved in.

Arab Al-Jahalin is a madareb, a traditional grouping of tents, animal enclosures and other structures erected by Bedouins with the agreement of the landowners, in this case the villagers of Anata.

Thursday’s attack is just the latest chapter in a story of expulsion that began in the 1948 when the Occupation chased the Al-Jahalin community from their lands in the Naqab during the Nakba. They moved to Tel-Arad in Hebron District where they lived until 1951 when they were driven out again, settling in Misafer in another part of Hebron. In 1961, the community moved to East Jerusalem, establishing the madareb in an area called al-Khan al-Ahmar, a hill near Eizarya (Bethany).

After the 1967 war, many Bedouins in the West Bank were targeted by the Occupation forces – their houses were destroyed, animals were confiscated and in many cases families were forcibly removed to other areas. The Al-Jahalin family escaped this fate until 1976. The attack finally came when Occupation forces moved in to cleanse al-Khan al-Ahmar of Palestinians for the construction of Maale Adumin settlement. The Bedouin families were loaded into trucks and forcibly removed to the entrance of Eizarya, where they established their madareb.

In 1993, the Occupation attacked the community for the fifth time, driving them from Eizarya to build a military camp. The families moved to the eastern edge of Anata.

The Al-Jahalin community now faces expulsion again. As the Wall around Jerusalem and its neighbouring areas nears completion, the Occupation plans to evict all the Bedouin families living along the road from Jericho to Abudis, Eizarya and Al-Sawahra, forcing them to settle in what the Occupation calls a “concentration” – a single community on an area not bigger than 50 dunum near Abudis village.