Sunday, December 17, 2017

Israel continues campaign to evict Bedouin communities in the Jordan Valley


By Rhiannon F. - November 15, 2017
TAGS:
Section: [Main News]
Tags: [Eviction] [Jordan Valley]

As of last week, the residents of two Bedouin communities, Ein al-Hiweh and Umm Jamal are said to be the first Palestinians issued eviction notices using an Israeli military order designed to demolish settler outposts.

The Jerusalem Post stated the 'order regarding unauthorized buildings’ was created in 2003 and amended in 2015 specifically for settler outposts erected in the West Bank.

B’Tselem Spokesperson, Roy Yellin disagrees the order created in 2003 was ever for settler outposts in the West Bank.

“Very few or none [of the settlements] have ever been demolished. Instead, the settler organisations are trying to use it against Palestinians,” Yellin said in an interview with Palestine Monitor.

Many of the families of Ein al-Hiweh and Umm Jamal in the Jordan Valley moved 30 years ago from the South Hebron Hills while others have lived there since before 1967.

The eviction notice, effecting some 129 residents, according to B’Tselem, was not hand delivered by the Israeli authorities instead it was posted on a road near the villages on Thursday 9.

The letter was issued with an accompanying map, as published on Ma’an news, and points to a demolition area equivalent to 136 acres of land either privately owned by Palestinians or the Catholic church.

Not even the mayor of the region was notified of the eviction notice in advance, Yellin stated.

“[The Bedouin communities are] adjacent to a settlement, so it’s obvious why Israel doesn’t want them there,” Yellin continued.

In a recent evaluation, B’Tselem counted 35 constructed tents within the communities of Ein al-Hiweh and Umm Jamal, mostly donated by humanitarian aid groups after the last demolition.

As well as this, the residents own 16 solar panels and various constructions for livestock, all which will have to be removed under the eviction notice.

Signed by the commander of the Israel Defense Forces in the West Bank on November 1, the notice is a 'declaration of delimited land,’ demanding any built structures within the area must be demolished within eight days of the notice issued.

Seeing as the order was not made obvious to residents and delivered already eight days after signing, it gives little opportunity for residents to submit objections to the plan.

Umm al- Fahm lawyer, Tawfiq Jabareen submitted an objection to the order on Saturday 11, arguing the eviction and demolition is illegal and invalid.

Israel’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories has stated “the new order addresses illegally built structures, not a presence at the location,” as published on Haaretz.

Even so, there has been no suggestion as to where the communities would live after demolition of their properties and building permits are rarely approved by the Israeli authorities.

“Israel will continue [with these eviction and demolition orders across the West Bank] because they know the international community will not intervene,” Yellin said.

“If there were to be some international protests then maybe they might like to negotiate something or postpone it, but if not, then who knows.”

 

Photo: demolition in a Bedouin community in the West Bank (archive)
 

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