Israel destroys nearly 45,000 Bedouin homes
office at evnuk.org.uk
Fri Dec 8 15:18:21 GMT 2006
Israel destroying homes of Palestinian Bedouins
12/6/2006 11:00:00 PM GMT
The Israeli Interior Ministry ordered the demolition of over 42,000
homes of Palestinian Bedouins in the Negev desert.
Speaking at a session for the Israeli parliament's interior committee,
Interior Minister, Roni Bar-On, claimed that all these buildings were
"illegal" and warned that any new homes built in what Israel calls
"unrecognized" villages in the Negev desert would be razed, the
Palestinian Information Centre (PIC) reported.
Palestinian security sources said Israeli police started implementing
the minister's orders on Wednesday by destroying 17 houses in the
Tawil village, north of Be'er Sheva.
Four young men were arrested during the demolition.
The regional council for Bedouin villages, which aren't recognized by
Israel, condemned Bar-On's remarks, and said that his orders meant the
destruction of an entire community, noting that some of the homes to
be destroyed were built before the establishment of the state of
Israel in 1948.
Most often, the Israeli army demolishes Palestinian homes in the
occupied territories without prior notice.
The Israeli army has carried out several demolitions of Bedouin homes,
claiming that they're either built without permits or are located in
the so-called "unrecognized villages."
Knesset Member, Talab El-Sana, said the demolitions are "a declaration
of war by the state (Israel) against its Bedouin citizens".
He also denounced the demolition of Bedouin homes as "a crime that is
no better than those committed by the Israeli military in Beit Hanoun,
" the northern Gaza city where Israeli forces launched a deadly
offensive last month that claimed the lives of more than 20
Israel seized the West Bank, Gaza, East Jerusalem in the 1967 Middle
International law deems them occupied land that Israel has illegally
About 430,000 settlers are thought to live in the occupied West Bank,
including East Jerusalem.
Last Wednesday, November 29, was the sixtieth anniversary of the
adoption of the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 181 which
called for the partition of the British-ruled Palestine Mandate into a
Jewish state and an Arab state.
Now, 60 years after the adoption of the 1947 Partition Plan, the
Palestinians are living between checkpoints, isolated behind the
separation barrier Israel is erecting in the occupied West Bank and
more than 160 Jewish settlements hosting several hundreds of thousands
of settlers have been constructed on their land.
Dr. Ali Abdul-Hameed head of the Regional and Civil Planning center in
Al Najah University in Nablus, asserts that the Partitioning
Resolution was never implemented.
"The Palestinians are now living in isolated cantons, separated by
settlements and checkpoints blocking the entrances of the cities and
villages", he said.
The Partitioning Resolution gave 70% of the occupied land to the
Palestinians and 30% to the Israelis, according to Professor Ibrahim
Abu Jaber, head of the Studies Center in Um Al Fahim.
"Although I reject the resolution, it is still better than what is
going on today. Now Israel is expelling the Bedouins from the Negev,
and the Arabs from several areas", Abu Jaber said.
"I am a Bedouin from the Negev, my family and I was expelled, and we
are living in Kafer Qassim after Israel issued a military order
annexing all of the agricultural lands to use them for military
proposes," he added.
"After the Partitioning Resolution was passed at the UN, I became a
refugee in my own land".
Qalqilia city, in the northern part of the West Bank, lost lands to
Israel in 1947, then lost more lands in 1967 and now is losing what is
left for the construction of the separation wall.
According to the Qalqilia municipality, 80% of the Palestinian
farmlands were annexed to Israel after the partitioning order.
Resident Abdullah Amin J'eidy, born in Qalqilia in 1920, lived the
different phases the city had gone through he was 27 when the
partitioning resolution was adopted, and now he's living in Qalqilia
that became totally isolated by the West Bank barrier.
"We heard about the resolution, but we never saw it", J'eidy said. "In
1948, we felt the true loss of our land after Israeli occupied the
"They stole my land, and they barred me even from seeing it again, I
still have papers proving my ownership, but they don't' care", he
"Now am here, I will not move from what I have left, I will not give
my land away".
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