Nov. 17, 2017
- Myths and Facts: Palestinian Bedouin Encampments in the Jordan Valley – Meir Deutsch
Recent headlines accuse Israel of planning to evict hundreds of Palestinian Bedouin from two villages in Israel’s Jordan Valley – Ein al Hilweh and Umm Jamal. While it has been claimed that the residents “have been there for decades,” aerial photos taken in 2004 show no villages. At most, in certain seasons there were tents constructed by nomadic shepherds who passed through with their flocks. This hardly constitutes ownership or historic claims to land.
The location of the “villages” endangers everyone who utilizes the roads and interchanges these illegal settlements are currently obstructing – including Jewish, Arab, and Bedouin residents of the area. The Umm Jamal camp has even begun to encroach upon an IDF firing zone – putting the Bedouin squatters themselves in grave danger.
The government of Israel has repeatedly offered alternative housing solutions to the Bedouin – solutions that the Palestinian Authority has consistently rejected. The Bedouin have become pawns in the PA’s bid to establish a de facto Palestinian state in Area C through a systematic, calculated policy of illegal activity. The writer is director of policy and government relations at Regavim. (Jerusalem Post)