Jerusalem Gate - A Struggle For Hope


Israeli military has demolished their camp eleven times. fifteen people have been arrested, and thirty-six have been injured. The Israeli soldiers have occupied the area for more than four weeks, and have moved the Palestinians on the road outside of their own land. But still refuse to give up the fight, and will continue fighting for their land.

Watch the video


Fighting for their own land

Stop the Wall Campaign and the Popular Resistance Committees have since the start of February arranged a protest camp in Abu Dis. They all struggle for the right to their own land. The aim of the protest camp is to stop the Israeli plan to transform the area into a relocation camp for Bedouin communities. 


Destoyed their camp 11 times

Within the first three weeks, Israeli military demolished the camp, made of simple tents to protect the people from the cold, elleven times. Fifteen people have been arrested, and thirty-six have been injured. When the Israeli soldiers demolished the tenth camp, they moved everyone to the road outside the area. The soldiers are now occupying the area day and night, and construction workers have started working on the site. But the protesters will continue fighting the Israeli government and the right to their own land. Their plan is to continue with weekley demonstrations and they are now prepering a a case to the court.

Watch what is happening at the camp


What is happening on this land?

On February 3, people gathered in the Khilet ar-Rahib area, east of Abu Dis in the Jerusalem area to build the protest camp for the first time. The land belongs to Palestinian residents of Abu Dis, who protest the confiscation and colonization of their land. 


Watch how the camp are being demolished:


What have the protest camp accomplished?

The presence of the protest camp has already stopped various attempts of the Israeli contractors to start the works for the construction of the 'relocation area' for the Bedouin. But sadly the Israeli authority have now started building and planing on the site. The Bedouin that are to be relocated there, are mainly from the Jahalin tribe. They have been living so far in the hills east of Jerusalem, on an area slated for the expansion plan of the settlement Ma'ale Adumim, called E1. Some 2500 people from 22 communities in the area east of Jerusalem are to be ethnically cleansed from their land in order to ensure the settlement of the E1 area. 


Watch how they bulilt their 9 th. protest camp:


What is its impact on the Palestinian question?

Severing access to Jerusalem

The implementation of the E1 plan will make the access for the Palestinians to their capital Jerusalem even more difficult. The E1 plan would be another milestone in the Israeli project for a "Greater Jerusalem". This is the name that Israeli politicians and urban planners gave to the strategy to ethnically cleanse Jerusalem from Palestinians, and to expand its borders in the east until almost the Dead Sea. 

From the demonstration, February the 28 th. 

Cutting in half the West Bank

The E1 project would almost completely isolate the southern West Bank from the central and northern part, further cementing the Bantustanization of Palestine on the ground. 

The Bantustanization of Palestine

The ethnic cleansing of the E1 area from the Bedouin communities is the first step within a detailed plan to ethnically cleanse area C of the West Bank (some 40% of the territory) from its Palestinian residents and, where possible, to expand Israeli settlements in the areas. Two other areas have already been defined by Israel for the "relocation townships" for the Bedouin – one in Fasayel (in the central Jordan Valley) and the other one in Nweima (near Jericho). This large scale project of forced displacement would leave the Palestinians in the West Bank with access to little more than the residential areas surrounded by the apartheid Wall and its associated regime. Together with the area of the besieged Gaza Strip, this would make up roughly 12% of historic Palestine – 1% less than the territory allocated to the Bantustans by the apartheid regime in South Africa. 


How is the situation at the site? 

Representatives of the Bedouin communities, the owners of the land and grassroots activists are ensuring a continuous presence outside of the area. People are defending their land by their presence. Palestinian and international delegations are visiting to show solidarity. The area of Khirbet ar-Rahib is close to one of Jerusalem's largest garbage dumps and living there in a relocation township would be a serious health risk for the people. 

Watch how they are fighting for their land


What is the situation of the Palestinian Bedouin?

The Jahalin are one of the biggest tribes of the Palestinian Bedouin. They are originally from the Naqab but have been ethnically cleansed during the first years of the existence of the state of Israel from that area. They had to flee into the West Bank and settled mainly in the areas east of Jerusalem. 

Bedouin were transferred to a new area 

In 1997, several Bedouin communities were transferred to an area around the largest landfill in the West Bank, at al Jabal close to where the Gate to Jerusalem camp is today. This resulted in the collapse of their pastoralist economies and irreversible damage to their social fabric and rural way of life.
Click here to see a full report on the oral history of the Jahalin Bedouin. 

A long history of struggle  

The Palestinian Bedouin have staged already numerous other battles against their forced displacement. One of them resulted in the withdrawal of contractors from the construction works of the relocation townships. After a month long campaign, in October 2014, a major engineering company sent a letter to the Stop the Wall Campaign, announcing their withdrawal from all of the projects to the Israeli civil administration in Bet Eil. The company further assures their commitment to work together against the expulsion of the Bedouin communities of the West Bank.

Israel announces its ethnic cleansing plan

In April 2014, the Israeli authorities publicly announced the acceleration of a longstanding plan to ethnically cleanse rural Bedouin communities. They are living in 47 communities throughout the West Bank to three areas, Nweima, al Jabal and Fasayil. The communities also include those residing in the E1 and Ma’ale Adumim areas near Jerusalem. 

Move the bedouin to make space for Israel

Palestinian Bedouin not only in the West Bank but as well within the territory since 1948 under Israeli control, in particular in the Naqab, are still suffering policies of expulsion. More than half of the approximately 160,000 Bedouin in the Naqab reside in so-called 'unrecognized villages', and resist continuous pressure to leave their land in order to make space for Israeli colonization.

How can you help? 

  • Keep yourself updated by checking out our webpage, our twitter @stopthewall and our facebook. 

  • You can also raise awareness by sharing information about the Gate to Jerusalem camp on your website, blog, twitter, or on facebook. 

  • You can write a letter to your local newspaper about the struggle of the Gate to Jerusalem camp.

  • If you are in Palestine, join the protests.


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