Israel destroys nearly 45,000 Bedouin homes

Gerrard Winstanley office at
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 
Palestinian civilians. 

Israel seized the West Bank, Gaza, East Jerusalem in the 1967 Middle 
East War.  

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. 

"Isolated cantons" 

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 
historic Palestine". 

"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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