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Civil Administration plans to expel thousands of Bedouins from homes, concentrate them in inadequate settlement

‘The Civil Administration has filed for objections plans for establishing a new settlement in the Jordan Valley, where thousands of Bedouins will be forced to relocate. The Civil Administration is advancing several such plans.

The current plan was drawn up without consulting the residents themselves, ignoring their needs. It is part of the Civil Administration’s repeated attempts to concentrate the Bedouins living in the West Bank’s Area C in “permanent sites”, with a view to annexing most of this area to Israel and leaving it free for Israeli use, including settlement expansion.

The new settlement, to be named Ramat Nu’eimeh, will be built in Area C near Jericho, in the Jordan Valley, and is slated to house about 12,500 people from Bedouin communities in the Jordan Valley and the Ma’ale Adumim area.

The first three plans for the settlement were filed for objections on 25 August 2014. They included a settlement intended for the Rashaydah tribe, which currently lives in the area, and a road running between the two settlement clusters. On 9 September 2014, three more plans were filed – two for building residences and one for constructing a road. Local residents and Israeli human rights organization Bimkom plan to submit several objections to these plans.

The plans were made without consulting the residents, who were not notified of the scope of the plans, and were therefore unable to present their position and make their needs known. The plans ignore the residents’ agrarian way of life and will not allow them to continue shepherding as before. The new settlement will be surrounded from all sides, in part by firing zones, settlements and a military checkpoint, leaving the residents without grazing pastures for their livestock. In addition, the plans force different tribes and communities to live together, contrary to traditional practices.

Most Bedouins living in the West Bank arrived there after they left their homes in the Negev desert, in southern Israel, or were expelled from them, in 1948. Ever since Israel occupied the West Bank in 1967, they have been forced to relocate several times to allow for Israeli settlements, firing zones, new nature reserves declared, and more. Hundreds of demolition orders have been issued against their homes and entire communities have been repeatedly expelled.’

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