It’s Not Just Settlers Who Oppose Israel’s Plan To Relocate Bedouin In West Bank

A Civil Administration plan to settle West Bank Bedouin in a new community north of Jericho has met with opposition not only from settlers but from the Bedouin themselves. The Bedouin say the project is part of plan to evict thousands of Bedouin from their tents, that they were not consulted, and that the plan would merge Bedouin of different tribes, which clashes with their tradition.

According to a report in Maariv on Tuesday, the defense minister has shelved the plan due to opposition by settlers.

The Civil Administration wants to put together Bedouin from the Rashadiyeh, Kaabneh and the Jahalin tribes, all of whom maintain a traditional lifestyle based on raising and herding sheep and goats.

Part of the Rashadiyeh tribe, who were evicted from the Ein Gedi area when Israel was established, live in three groups in the area of Nu’eimeh, north of Jericho, near the site where the Civil Administration wants to build the new community for them. They were forced to move to the Nu’eimeh area a quarter century ago from an area east of Ramallah, where they were not able to graze their flocks.

In 2010, the Civil Administration issued demolition orders for dozens of tents and shacks built at Nu’eimeh, but the High Court of Justice prohibited the demolition. Issam Aruri, head of the Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Center, which represents the Rashadiyeh community, told Haaretz that the State Prosecutor’s Office pledged that an alternative community would be built for them nearby.

Over the past seven years, during hearings on other petitions demanding that the Civil Administration prepare master plans for Bedouin communities and not only for settlers, the prosecution and the Civil Administration gave similar responses − that the Bedouin would be resettled in permanent communities in the West Bank.

Master plans