Jahalin Bedouin: Nakba continues for the 4th generation
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Jahalin Bedouin: Nakba continues for the 4th generation

This morning, the Occupation destroyed homes that sheltered 30 people from the Jahalin Bedouin community who where living in villages located in the enclave northwest of Jerusalem.

***image2***Additionally, Occupation forces have ordered four Bedouin families to evacuate their homes and leave the area, as their homes are now part of a closed military zone in the so-called “security zone” along the Apartheid Wall. Abu Ibrahim Dahuk and Suleiman Mohammed Abu Dahuk, along with their families, 15 individuals in total, are to be displaced and relocated.

Ibrahim Abu Dahuk, one of the affected people, described the demolition as a catastrophe. He is worried about winter, which has proved to be bitterly cold, as he and his family have been deprived of shelter. Ibrahim said, “These are the results of the peace process we see every day, more killings, destruction and displacement, catastrophe after catastrophe,” adding that the Zionist state wants to rid the land of Palestinians, a goal it has been working for since the first days of the occupation.

In the years following 1948 the Jahalin, among them Ibrahim and his family, were forced off their lands in Tel al-‘Arad, south of Hebron, by militant Zionist gangs. They took refuge in the area of Khan al-Ahmar, which sits along the Jerusalem-Jericho road.

***image3***In the 1980’s, Occupation forces razed tents and animal pens before forcibly deporting the people from around Khan al-Ahmar in order to make way for the settlement of Kfar Adumim. The people were again forced to move, this time to the fringe of Nabi Samwil, north of Jerusalem. But in the 1990’s, Occupation authorities decided that the Jahalin families did not have permission to be on the land and proceeded to destroy their shelters once again. Thus the Nakba continues today, witnessed by a fourth generation of children.

The Occupation authorities intend to uproot 22,000 Bedouin from parts of the West Bank, and relocate them to narrow “concentrations” of land. In the Jerusalem area alone there are about 7,500 Jahalin Bedouin, who are spread over the hills northeast and west of Jerusalem. Within the framework of the “Greater Jerusalem Plan”, the Occupation intends to deport them from this region. This plan attacks the social ties and livelihoods of the Bedouin communities, sometimes grossly so, as when in 1997 Occupation authorities transferred 60 families to an area near a garbage dump south of Abu Dis.

What is happening to these families is an aspect of Zionist policy that targets Palestinian Bedouin communities throughout Palestine, both in the West Bank and in the territories occupied in 1948. The systematic denial of building permits, the path of the Apartheid Wall and the attempts by Occupation planners to transfer various groups of people to “concentrations” all serve to erode Bedouin society. Like the communities of Negev Bedouin, these population groups are in immediate danger of collapse. Bedouin in the West Bank live in a state of permanent displacement; what began in 1948 continues today as Occupation authorities continue to chase the people from their homes, seal off land and otherwise make normal life impossible.