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Bedouin make do without shelters under West Bank skies

Bedouin make do without shelters under West Bank skies

This article originally appeared in Haaretz – July 17, 2014 [Photo by Photo by Alon Ron]

By Amira Hass

Like the Negev Bedouin, it seems that the Bedouin east of Jerusalem are also in range of Hamas’ rockets and missiles, and they are also without shelters. The rocket that reached Jerusalem on July 8, shortly after a siren sounded, landed near the Bedouin encampment of Abu Falah in Khan al-Ahmar (near Mishor Adumim). A piece of the rocket landed 25 meters away from one of the caravan homes, creating a cloud of dust and smoke. No one was hurt, but shrapnel did damage one of the caravans. Some of the children there who witnessed the blast have reportedly had trouble sleeping since.

Article continued on Haaretz.comhttp://www.haaretz.com/news/middle-east/1.605812.

Defense Ministry: Army to keep expelling Palestinians from firing zones

Defense Ministry: Army to keep expelling Palestinians from firing zones

This article originally appeared in Haaretz – June 12, 2014 [Photo by Michal Fattal]

By Jonathan Lis

The army plans to continue expelling Palestinians from military firing zones in Area C of the West Bank, which is under total Israeli control, Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon told the Knesset on Wednesday.

Article continued on Haaretz.comhttp://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.598265.

Knesset to discuss IDF’s use of live-fire zones to relocate Palestinians

Knesset to discuss IDF’s use of live-fire zones to relocate Palestinians

This article originally appeared in Haaretz – June 11, 2014 [Photo by Mairav Zonszein]

By Amira Hass

The Knesset will discuss the Israel Defense Forces’ use of live-fire zones as a means of removing Palestinian residents from their dwellings at a plenary discussion on Wednesday.

Article continued on Haaretz.comhttp://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.598046.

Who has time to care about mass evacuation?

Who has time to care about mass evacuation?

This article originally appeared in Haaretz – June 9, 2014 [Photo by AP]

By Amira Hass

When my column from last week was published, my friends (in the real world and on Facebook) continued on their way without showing any signs of shock. And I actually had thought that the two texts about the mass expulsion presently being planned would provoke more reactions from them.

Article continued on Haaretz.comhttp://www.haaretz.com/news/features/.premium-1.597606.

How Israel is trying to bypass the courts and get Bedouin off their land

How Israel is trying to bypass the courts and get Bedouin off their land

This article originally appeared in Haaretz – June 4, 2014 [Photo by Olivier Fitoussi]

“Once upon a time there was a house and a guest, a woman, came to visit.” Between a cup of tea and a cup of coffee, this is how Khalil al-Hamadeen began his story in his family’s diwan, or hosting tent, at the Sateh al-Bahr (“Sea Level”) Bedouin encampment…

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The Prawer plan, special West Bank edition

The Prawer plan, special West Bank edition

This article originally appeared in Haaretz – June 1, 2014 [Photo by Olivier Fitoussi]

By Amira Hass

What does this remind you of? Thousands of people are forced, at gunpoint, to leave their homes. They are herded together and the people with the guns force them to live together, at a level of crowding that conflicts with their way of life and of earning a living…

Article continued on Haaretz.comhttp://www.haaretz.com/news/national/.premium-1.596569.

Nowhere Left to Go: Bedouin of the West Bank [Photo Essay]

Nowhere Left to Go: Bedouin of the West Bank [Photo Essay]

The following are selections from a photo essay by Gabriel Romero, in association with the Alexia Foundation and ZUMA Press – launched May 26, 2014 on zReportage.com

The West Bank is an Israeli-occupied, Palestinian territory that is home to approximately 17,000 Bedouin tribespeople. This population is comprised of five separate tribes who are traditionally nomadic and agro-pastoralist. These Bedouin originate in the Negev Desert but, following the 1948 establishment of the State of Israel, they were forced to move from the Negev and into an area west of the Jordan River, at that time administered by Jordan. Following the 1967 Six Day War, they found themselves under the administration of an Israeli government that has occupied the area known as the West Bank ever since.

The current plight of these Bedouin is a tragic consequence of the occupation, under which they endure crippling poverty and degradation. Israel’s introduction of a separation wall in 2004, and its expansion of illegal Jewish settlements throughout the West Bank have further pushed the Bedouin into small, slum-like camps, effectively ending their nomadic existence. The Israeli government does not permit the Bedouin to build permanent structures and the army – with little or no warning – regularly destroys their temporary ones under the pretext of a violation of the law.

The future of the Bedouin throughout the West Bank is extremely uncertain. They are now facing a breakdown of their traditional culture and simply have nowhere left to go. Life has always been tough for these nomadic Arab tribes, but they now face a great challenge from the Israeli authorities settling Israeli citizens in the area.

Photo by Gabriel Romero/Alexia Foundation ©2014

A man carrying tin sheets to help repair a dwelling that was nearly destroyed during the previous day's demolitions. Dec. 10, 2013. Al Jiftlik, West Bank, Palestinian Territories. (Photo by Gabriel Romero/Alexia Foundation ©2014)

 

Photo by Gabriel Romero/Alexia Foundation ©2014.

Children stand on the roof of a mosque that was destroyed the day before. Dec. 4, 2013. West Bank, Palestinian Territories. (Photo by Gabriel Romero/Alexia Foundation ©2014)

 

A boy explores the ruins of his newly demolished home in the Bedouin camp of Al Auja. Dec. 4, 2013. West Bank, Palestinian Territories. (Photo by Gabriel Romero/Alexia Foundation ©2014)

 

A village elder in the ruins of his home in Al Auja that was destroyed the night before by the Israeli army. Dec. 4, 2013. West Bank, Palestinian Territories. (Photo by Gabriel Romero/Alexia Foundation ©2014)

 

A dead sheep that lived through the bulldozing of a pen that killed over thirty other sheep, only to die the next day from its injuries. Dec. 4, 2013. West Bank, Palestinian Territories. (Photo by Gabriel Romero/Alexia Foundation ©2014)

Photo by Gabriel Romero/Alexia Foundation ©2014.

A barefoot girl in the dust and rocks of her camp at Wadi Meleh. Nov. 25, 2013. West Bank, Palestinian Territories. (Photo by Gabriel Romero/Alexia Foundation ©2014)


 

(Photo by Gabriel Romero/Alexia Foundation ©2014)

A man takes a break from repairing an animal pen to roll a Bedouin cigarette, which consists of tobacco and heishi. West Bank, Palestinian Territories. (Photo by Gabriel Romero/Alexia Foundation ©2014)

 

Photo by Gabriel Romero/Alexia Foundation ©2014.

A Bedouin family forced to live in their animal pen after the Israeli army had destroyed their home. Dec. 21, 2013. West Bank, Palestinian Territories. (Photo by Gabriel Romero/Alexia Foundation ©2014)

 

Photo by Gabriel Romero/Alexia Foundation ©2014.

An elder of Al Ram stands in front of the separation wall, which has resulted in his village having only a small fraction of the grazing land they once had. The introduction of the wall has had perhaps the greatest impact on their lives in the modern era. Dec. 21, 2013. West Bank, Palestinian Territories. (Photo by Gabriel Romero/Alexia Foundation ©2014)


Check out the full-photo essay “Nowhere Left to Go” and more of Gabriel’s work at: http://www.thepicturesoftheday.com/zReportage.html?num=zrep528

Gabriel Romero - zReportage.com PhotographerGABRIEL ROMERO is based in Los Angeles, California, and is represented by ZUMA Press. He specializes in local and international news in the areas of conflict, environmental, and humanitarian coverage. Most recently his work has focused on Middle Eastern issues. (© Gabriel Romero /ZUMAPRESS.com)

 

 

 

The crude voices of the expulsion committee [Editorial]

The crude voices of the expulsion committee [Editorial]

This article originally appeared in Haaretz – May 22, 2014 [Photo by Mairav Zonszein]

By Haaretz Editorial Staff

The Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee’s subcommittee on Judea and Samaria has spent several months debating illegal Palestinian construction in Area C of the West Bank, which is under full Israeli control. The minutes of a closed meeting of this panel on April 27 (disclosed by Amira Hass in yesterday’s Haaretz) reveal the blunt language used by some attendees. This includes mention of “throw[ing] out” and “kick[ing] back” the Palestinians, references to Palestinian communities as “weeds” and to foreign states and international organizations that “incit[e] the Arabs,” and “I don’t understand how you got to such astronomical figures for the Bedouin.”

The language matched the substance of the meeting: MKs Moyi Yogev and Orit Strock of Habayit Hayehudi, the only two committee members who showed up, along with representatives of the settlers, complained about what they saw as the helplessness and neglect of the authorities which enabled Palestinians to remain in areas where they had lived before 1967.

Responding to the complaints and demands were the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai, and representatives of the Israel Defense Forces, the Israel Police and the ministries of justice, the interior and foreign affairs. Mordechai argued with some of the participants’ assumptions, stressing that the law must also be enforced against settlers in the West Bank, but there’s no way of knowing, at least from the minutes, whether Mordechai or the other government representatives protested the crude and racist remarks.

By contrast, the minutes do show that those attending agree on a common goal: to clear the Palestinians out of most of Area C and force them into the enclaves of areas A and B. Several past and current methods of achieving this were discussed. These included designating areas as live-fire zones and conducting military exercises in them; declaring public Palestinian land as Israeli state land and allocating it solely to Jews; designating land as in the process of being surveyed and therefore of uncertain status, and then permitting settlers to use it; restricting or rejecting Palestinian master plans; refusing to connect communities to water or electricity; destroying wells and the forced evacuation of Bedouin, who are resettled in crowded towns.

Removing the Palestinian population from Area C is forbidden by international law, as the European Union has repeatedly declared. It’s no surprise that the two committee members in attendance demanded that Israel get tough with international organizations that help Palestinians remain on their lands. What is surprising is that opposition MKs on the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee are ignoring this subcommittee. Their presence will not change the position of Habayit Hayehudi, but they can at least make it clear to government officials that there are other parts of the Israeli public that understand that expulsions from and annexations of Area C will scuttle any prospects for peace.

Article link: http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/1.592091

IDF uses live-fire zones to expel Palestinians from areas of West Bank, officer admits

IDF uses live-fire zones to expel Palestinians from areas of West Bank, officer admits

This article originally appeared in Haaretz – May 21, 2014 [Photo by Mairav Zonszein]

By Amira Hass

Military training in live-fire zones in the West Bank is used as a way of reducing the number of Palestinians living nearby, and serves as an important part of the campaign against Palestinian illegal construction, an army officer revealed at a recent Knesset committee meeting…

Article continued on Haaretz.comhttp://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.591881