Israel plans expulsion of some 60,000 Bedouin Palestinians

Israeli human rights organisation B’Tselem has drawn attention to plans by the Israeli government to expel 27,000 Bedouin Palestinians who currently live in what is known as ‘Area C’ of the West Bank.

The Civil Administration (CA) is planning to expel the Bedouin communities living in Area C in the West Bank, transferring some 27,000 persons from their homes. In the first phase, planned as early as January 2012, some 20 communities, comprising 2,300 persons, will be forcibly transferred to a site near the Abu Dis refuse dump, east of Jerusalem.

Area C, making up around 60 percent of the Israeli-occupied West Bank, is where most Israeli colonisation is concentrated, e.g. the largest settlements, military training zones, etc. (For more information on Area C see these UN reports from August 2011 and August 2010).

Palestinians who live in Area C have long faced severe discrimination under Israeli military rule, particularly when it comes to issues of housing. For example, a UN survey in 2008 found that 94 percent of building permit applications by Palestinians were denied by the Israeli occupation authorities.

Meanwhile, it was only a month ago that the Israeli cabinet approved a plan for the Negev that means the forcible relocation of around 30,000 Bedouin Palestinian citizens.

As I wrote at the time, this ‘transfer’ plan is directly linked to efforts to ‘Judaize’ the Negev: as Ramat Negev Regional Council mayor Shmuel Rifman put it, if the Israeli government does not “finalise the Bedouin settlement it will be very hard to enhance Jewish settlement in the Negev”.

In the West Bank, the same logic is at work. UN OCHA have also just released a factsheet on the displacement of Bedouin near Jerusalem in which they note:

The Bedouin’s current homes are located in an area that holds strategic significance for further expansion of Israeli settlements.

Thus in the de facto one state that exists between the Mediterranean Sea and Jordan River, Israeli authorities are currently planning mass expulsions of around 60,000 Palestinians, specifically in order to free up more territory for Jewish settlement. The Nakba never finished.




Take Action: Amnesty International Urgent Action network just received this action on behalf of Jahalin school which is under immediate threat of demolition since it sits east of Jerusalem in Area C -

The residents of Khan al Ahmar live in part of Area C that settlers who live in Maale Adumim and Kfar Adumim have been trying to clear for years just east of Jerusalem. The demolitions there have been delayed, it appears, due to int'l attention on their plight, but pressure must be maintained. The settlers have initiated new 'press' to get IDF to act so please consider making your voice heard on this case.

Please note: Military Judge Advocate General is now Danny Efroni, not Mandelblit at
6 David Elazar Street
Hakirya, Tel Aviv, Israel
Fax: +972 3 608 0366
Salutation: Dear Judge Advocate General

Ben White

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Ben White is a freelance journalist, writer and activist, specialising in Palestine/Israel. His articles have been widely published in the likes of The Guardian‘s Comment is free, Al Jazeera, Electronic Intifada, New Statesman, and many others. He is the author of ‘Israeli Apartheid: A Beginner’s Guide’ (2009, Pluto Press) and ‘Palestinians in Israel: Segregation, Discrimination & Democracy’ (2012, Pluto Press). Ben is a researcher/writer for the Journal of Palestine Studies.