VIDEO | Israeli occupation forces demolish an entire Bedouin community in Beit Hanina

22nd August 2013 | International Solidarity Movement, Ramallah Team | Beit Hanina, Occupied Palestine

On the morning of the19th August, two hundred soldiers in thirty-eight jeeps and with two military dogs dismantled several tents housing the Tal ‘Adasa Bedouin community in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Hanina.

Destroyed homes and furniture in front of the Apartheid Wall (photo by ISM)

Destroyed homes and furniture in front of the Apartheid Wall (photo by ISM)

At around 6am, Israeli soldiers surrounded the Bedouins tents, pointing guns at the fifty-three residents, which includes twenty-eight children.  The family members were separated into three groups, always under the threat of guns, and were not allow to move for three hours. Children were not permitted to go to the bathroom nor to have anything to drink or eat.

At 9am, two armored bulldozers invaded the camp, destroying all the tents, animal facilities and furniture. The two military-trained dogs attacked the sheep and goats of the Bedouin, causing them to scatter all around. The Bedouins, worried about losing their flocks, ignored the soldiers orders and ran after them, managing to bring them back.

Three hours later, the soldiers left the area but before fining the community with 70,000 NIS for use of the bulldozers and – according to Israeli authorities – for illegally occupying the land. One of the eldest men of the community was told by Israeli soldiers that they have to clear the area within the next ten days, otherwise they will be arrested.

Destroyed Bedouin homes (photo by ISM)

Destroyed Bedouin homes (photo by ISM)

The Red Cross and Palestine Red Crescent personnel visited the community after the demolitions and provided the Bedouins with nine tents. However, when international activists visited the community, there were only twenty-eight people left. Most of the children were moved to Jericho where they won’t be able to continue their schooling as they are already registered in the schools located in Beit Hanina area.

Surrounded by mountains of rubble and damaged furniture piled up around the area Abo Hosean Kaabna stated; “We have been living in Beit Hanina for over 60 years, since 1948 after being forcibly displaced from Al Khalil during the Nakba in 1948″. “I have been taking care of that olive tree for 16 years”, continued with deep sorrow on his face and tears in his eyes, pointing out a large tree in front of him.

If the threats of the Israeli authorities are carried out, next Wednesday, the soldiers will go back and arrest the remaining Bedouins, as the community has no intention of leaving the area.

“Please, don’t forget us. This is not finished yet, we will have to face other problems later. Our community will have to look for another place to live but we don’t know where we could go and families will be forced to be separate again”, said Abu Hosean Kaabna.



This Bedouin community received a demolition order last June and since that time they have been expecting the order to be enforced, without knowing the exact date that their homes would be destroyed.

The Tal ‘Adasa Bedouin community has been living in Beit Hanina for over 50 years after being displaced from Hebron and Beer Seba areas during the 1948 Nakba. Despite living within the Jerusalem boundaries, residents of this community only hold West Bank IDs. In 2006, the Annexation Wall was constructed to the east and west of the community, isolating it from the rest of the West Bank. Israeli authorities rarely issue them permits to cross Qalandiya checkpoint and access the West Bank, cutting them off from villages such as Bir Nabala and Ram, where they have family relatives.

For nearly the past twenty years Israeli officials have attemped in several occasions to force them off their land. However, even after the Israeli forces demolished their houses, residents of Tal ‘Asada remain steadfast on the land.

 




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What is the Prawer Plan

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Demolition and Eviction of Bedouin Citizens of Israel in the Naqab (Negev) – The Prawer Plan

By Adalah.org

On 24 June 2013, the Israeli Knesset approved the discriminatory Prawer-Begin Bill, with 43 votes for and 40 votes against, for the mass expulsion of the Arab Bedouin community in the Naqab (Negev) desert in the south of Israel.If fully implemented, the Prawer-Begin Plan will result in the destruction of 35 “unrecognized”Arab Bedouin villages, the forced displacement of up to 70,000 Arab Bedouin citizens of Israel, and the dispossession of their historical lands in the Naqab. Despite the Arab Bedouin community’s complete rejection of the plan and strong disapproval from the international community and human rights groups, the Prawer Plan is happening now.


The Prawer-Begin Bill is an unacceptable proposition that entrenches the state’s historic injustice against its Bedouin citizens. Adalah and our NGO partners have been challenging the Prawer Plan before courts, government authorities and the international community, but we need your help to stop what would be the largest single act of forced displacement of Arab citizens of Israel since the 1950s!


Please sign our petition and visit our Facebook page to find out what you can do to Stop the Prawer Plan!


What is the Prawer Plan?

Arab Bedouin citizens of Israel, inhabitants of the Naqab (Negev) desert since the seventh century, are the most vulnerable community in Israel. For over 60 years, the indigenous Arab Bedouin have faced a state policy of displacement, home demolitions and dispossession of their ancestral land. Today, 70,000 Arab Bedouin citizens live in 35 villages that either predate the establishment of the State in 1948, or were created by Israeli military order in the early 1950s. The State of Israel considers the villages “unrecognized” and the inhabitants “trespassers on State land,” so it denies the citizens access to state infrastructure like water, electricity, sewage, education, health care and roads. The state deliberately withholds basic services from these villages to “encourage” the Arab Bedouin citizens to give up their ancestral land. If Israel applied the same criteria for planning and development that exist in the Jewish rural sector, all 35 unrecognized villages would be recognized where they are.
In September 2011, the Israeli government approved the Prawer Plan, the brainchild of former Deputy Chair of the National Security Council, Mr. Ehud Prawer. The Prawer Plan will result in the destruction of the unrecognized villages and the forced displacement of up to 70,000 Arab Bedouin citizens. This plan was completed without consultation of the local community, and is a gross violation of the constitutional rights of the Arab Bedouin citizens to property, dignity, equality, adequate housing, and freedom to choose their own residence.


Prawer is Happening Now
Despite complete rejection of the plan by the Arab Bedouin, and strong disapproval from the international community, Prawer is happening now. More than 1,000 houses were demolished in 2011 alone, and civil society observed the same practices in 2012. Since Prawer was announced, the government announced plans that will displace over 10,000 people and plant forests, build military centers, and establish new Jewish settlements in their place.


The Prawer Plan is today being turned into an Israeli law. On 6 May 2013, the Ministerial Committee on Legislation approved the proposed “Law for the Regulation of Bedouin Settlement in the Negev – 2013” (“the Prawer-Begin Bill”, after recommendations by Minister Benny Begin were included). On 24 June 2013, the Knesset approved the Prawer-Begin Bill with 43 votes for and 40 votes against. The bill will now be sent to the Committee for Interior Affairs and Environment to be prepared for the second and third readings.


The international community has repeatedly expressed its opposition to the Prawer Plan. In March 2012, the UN Committee on the Elimination for Racial Discrimination called on Israel to withdraw the proposed implementing legislation of the Prawer Plan, on the grounds that it was discriminatory. In July 2012, the European Parliament passed a historic resolution calling on Israel to Stop the Prawer Plan and its policies of displacement, eviction, and dispossession.


Adalah calls on the Israeli government to:
  • Cancel the Prawer Plan
  • Recognize the “unrecognized villages” and the land claims of the indigenous Arab Bedouin community
  • Halt home demolitions and forced evictions
  • Engage in meaningful dialogue with the Arab Bedouin community and the Arab political leadership to justly resolve the land claims
  • Invest in greater health, education, and employment opportunities for Arab Bedouin citizens of Israel


Find out More:

Introduction
Factsheet: Myths and Misconceptions about the Arab Bedouin in the Naqab
Article: Four Reasons to Reject the Prawer Plan, by Dr. Thabet Abu Rass and Professor Oren Yiftachel


Briefing/Position Papers:
Briefing Paper: Understanding the Prawer Plan Law, 2012
Briefing Paper: Analysis of the Prawer Plan, October 2011


Videos:


International responses
EMHRN Statement: Time for EU action on Prawer Bill, 2 July 2013
UN CERD Calls on Israel to Withdraw the Prawer Plan Law, 15 March 2012
European Parliament Passes Resolution Calling on Israel to Stop the Prawer Plan


Press Releases


Related in Media

  • ‘When I look at the Prawer Plan, I see another Nakba’ – Source
  • 2005: advisor to Peres already told US Negev “development” plan meant “relocation” of 65,000 Bedouin – Source
  • All the Facts About Bedouin Settlement of the Negev ~ by Rabbis for Human Rights
  • Adalah “Palestinian community prepares for General Strike against the Prawer Plan, get to know the people – Source
  • Every Red Dot on map: 1 of Palestine’s towns eradicated from earth. Now Israel wants to eradicate 45 more towns. – Source
  • Stand with @rhreng and support Bedouin rights! – Source
  • July 20, 2013 | Amnesty International labels Prawer-Begin Bill as racist – More
  • July 21, 2013 |Three Myths about the Bedouin ~ Rabbis for Humanrights

Related: Israel. Not looking for Peace. Nor Talks. But this… ~ The Facts







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