Bedouin Eviction

M. Steindel (CLaw7MAn@webtv.net)
Thu, 26 Nov 1998 13:08:53 -0800 (PST)


26 November 1998 
=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 =A0 =A0 
Urgent Action: Negotiated Eviction of the Jahalin Bedouin 

=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 Thirty five Bedouin families are
approaching the end of negotiations on their forced eviction and
relocation. In order to ensure that they are afforded basic minimal
living conditions, the Jahalin need your expressions of support. 

=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 Groups of Jahalin Bedouin have been
living in encampments near the Israeli settlement of Ma'ale Adumim in
the West Bank. The State claims that the Jahalin are squatting on
state-owned land. In addition, Israel appears motivated by a desire to
push Palestinians out of Area C 
- that part of the West Bank which remains under complete Israeli
control. This would strengthen Israel's negotiating position on the
future of these areas. 

=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 In January 1997, the first group of
Jahalan were evicted from the area around Ma'ale Adumim and relocated to
a site very close to the Abu Dis garbage dump. In February 1998, an
additional Jahalin encampment was destroyed. Although their belongings
were taken to the Abu Dis site, this group of 35 families refused to
move. After a week-long stand-off, Israel's High Court ordered that the
Bedouin be permitted to stay until their case was resolved. 

=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 Defense Minister Yizhak Mordechai
appointed General Raphael Vardi to determine how to effect the transfer
of the Jahalin to the Abu-Dis site. Upon General Vardi's mediation, the
Civil Administration has agreed to negotiate with the Jahalin's lawyer,
Mr. Shlomo Lecker. Negotiations are expected to conclude, and the two
sides sign an agreement, within the next two weeks. 

=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 In spite of its undesirability for
a number of reasons, most of the Jahalin are willing to move to the Abu
Dis site. However, they first require certain conditions to make the
site liveable: 

* =A0 =A0 =A0 Israel must provide basic infrastructure of water,
electricity and sewerage; 

* =A0 =A0 =A0 In order to prevent overcrowding and future evictions, the
Jahalin require that each family be given title to a plot of land of
sufficient size. 

* =A0 =A0 =A0 The Jahalin require building permits and the funds to
build. 

* =A0 =A0 =A0 The Jahalin require a near-by site to graze their flocks. 

=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 Israeli and international pressure
on behalf of the Jahalin has proven to be effective. The fact that
Israel is offering the Jahalin any housing alternative and negotiating
about the terms of the eviction is due to the attention that this issue
has received. Now is the time to express your support for the Jahalin.
Please send faxes to the individuals below. Communications should be
polite and acknowledge that the Civil Administration has shown new
willingness to come to an agreement with the Jahalin. We request that
they be provided the conditions which will allow them to live in
dignity, and that all aspects of the move and construction be fully
funded. 

=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 =A0 =A0 Faxes should be sent to: 

=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 =A0 =A0 1. Defense Minister, Yitzhak
Mordechai, Fax: 972-3-6976218 

=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 2. Head of the Civil
Administration, Dov Tzadaka, Fax: 972-2-9977341 

=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 3. Coordinator of Activities in the
Territories, General Ya'akov Or, Fax: 972 2 9977356, 

=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 Please send a copy of your letters
to B'Tselem, mail@btselem.org or fax:972-2-5610756 

=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 =A0 =A0 SAMPLE LETTER

=A0 =A0 =A0 Dear Defense Minister Mordechai, 
=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0
=A0 I am writing to you to commend you on your willingness to negotiate
with the Jahalin Bedouin and express my hope that you will provide the
infrastructure, funding and support which will allow the Jahalin to make
this difficult transition with dignity. 

=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0
=A0 The thirty-five families whose homes were destroyed in February are
willing to attempt the drastic changes in their lifestyle which the
proposed move will entail, but must be provided the basic conditions
which will allow them to make the adjustment. Just as Israel compensated
the residents of Yamit when it evacuated the Sinai, I ask that you fully
fund the costs of the move, the building of homes and infrastructure and
the support required to deal with the trauma of transition. 

=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 Winter is upon us, and I also
request that the Jahalin be allowed to carry out the preparations
necessary to remain in their current location until the move is
effected. At the very least, each family must be allowed to build a tin
structure. 
=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0--------------------------=
----- 

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