RAMALLAH, September 16, 2014 – (WAFA) – Foreign Affairs Ministry called Tuesday for urgent international intervention to stop Israeli government’s plans to forcibly transfer the Palestinian Bedouins from their West Bank communities.
The ministry vehemently condemned in a press release the recent Israeli plans to forcibly transfer the Palestinian Bedouins out of their communities around Jerusalem and the Jordan Valley as a prelude to seize the land for settlement expansion; plans which constitute a flagrant violation of the international law and Geneva Conventions.
The Israeli plans involve forcibly transferring Bedouins out of Area C located to the east of Jerusalem, referred to as the ‘Jerusalem Periphery’ or ‘E1’, to a new town in the Jordan Valley. According to Haaretz , late August and last week the so-called Israeli Civil Administration published nine plans that together comprise the master plan for the proposed new town north of Jericho. The plans were drafted without consulting the Bedouin from the Jahalin, Kaabneh and Rashaida tribes, slated to live there, in violation of the Israeli Supreme Court’s recommendation.
The newspaper commented that “concentrating the Bedouin into a few permanent towns represents the culmination of a 40-year process of limiting their pasturage, restricting their migrations and refusing to let them build permanent homes in places where they have lived for decades. This process accelerated after the Oslo Accords were signed in 1993.”
According to the Alternative Information Center, all of the Palestinian Bedouin communities slated for transfer are located in Area C, the 60% of the West Bank where Israel maintains full civil and military control. There are already around 341,000 Israeli settlers living in more than 100 settlements throughout Area C. Although Area C is within the internationally recognized 1967 borders of the occupied Palestinian territory, Israel only allows Palestinians to build on 1 percent of it.
International humanitarian organizations have noted that this lack of authority to build makes Palestinians vulnerable to home demolition, displacement, and forcible transfer and limits their ability to realize their rights to water, to adequate shelter, to education, health, and to livelihood.
The Israeli occupation forces demolished over 23 Bedouin communities, containing over 350 structures and shacks, closed several schools and prevented the delivery of humanitarian and relief aid to these communities in order to force them out.
The Foreign Ministry welcomed the letter signed by over 42 international, Israeli and Palestinian organizations calling for halting the forcible transfer of the Bedouin communities and urged human rights and humanitarian organizations to take all necessary measures in order to immediately halt the Israeli policies, protect the Palestinian people, salvage the two-state solution and end the Israeli occupation.
Meanwhile, Head of the Anti-wall and Settlement Commission Minister Ziad Abu Ein stated that these Israeli plans are part of the ongoing Israeli annexation and settlement expansion to complete ‘Greater Jerusalem’.
He noted that in anticipation of this plan, the Israeli occupation forces have employed coercive tactics to heighten pressure on the Bedouin communities, such as conducting nearby extensive drills, disconnecting water and electricity, and closing entrance, adding that these Israeli plans are meant to create urban contiguity between ‘Ma’ale Adumim’ and ‘Qidar’ settlements and Jerusalem, exacerbate the isolation of East Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank, and erode the territorial contiguity of the occupied West Bank state by dividing it into southern and northern sections.