Occupation forces destroyed tents belonging to five âArab Jahalin families, leaving 30 people, 15 of them children, homeless. These families are part of a community that has been threatened with expulsion for some time, as their land is targeted for the expansion of the nearby Maâale Adummim settlement.
The demolition began at three in the afternoon on 3 February, when a large contingent of soldiers, 200 according to one witness, and military equipment arrived at the community. They declared the area a closed military zone, detained the families that were in the tents, and demolished the structures as well as their contents. The tents belonged to Kayid Salem and his four married sons and were used to house their respective families.
***image3***The operation finished in the evening, with the military withdrawing and leaving the families without shelter for the night. While the affected families did obtain two tents from the Red Cross, these have not been enough to meet their needs. Kayid Salem stated, âThey left us outdoors between the evening and the night, where do we go? There isnât anywhere; everything is confiscated and closed for settlements. Where do we go, who will shelter us?â
This particular Jahalin community is located east of al-âEizariya, in Bir al-Maskub. The whole community is threatened with expulsion; along with the Salem family, 14 other families, around 100 persons, have been told to collect their collect their possessions and leave the area. This is to clear the area for the expansion of Maâale Adummim.
In fact, a few days after the demolition it was announced that the infrastructure project, the first stage in the expansion plan for the settlement, had been completed. This included the laying of roads and bridges as well as the establishment of a police station. Work on the second stage is set to begin, which covers the construction of shopping centers, hotels, public parks and a childrenâs recreational center, as well as the addition of 3,500 residential units.
The implementation of this expansion requires the forceful transfer of tens of families from the Jahalin and ak-Kaâabana Bedouin communities. First expelled from Tel âArad in 1948, the Jahain Bedouin have subsequently been displaced from their homes numerous times; first to make way for the creation of a Jewish state and then, on several separate occasions, to make way for West Bank settlements.