With talk of the planned Israeli settlement expansion into the “E-1 Area” centering around Israel wanting to “link” settlements and the Palestinian Authority needing it to keep their future state contiguous, you wouldn’t think anyone actual lives there. 2,300 Bedouin residents, however, are at risk in this dispute.
Random and forcible population movements are one of the onerous realities of living under Israeli occupation in the West Bank. In this case Israel plans to force all 10 Bedouin communities out of the E-1.
They’re not from E-1 originally, at least not most of them. The vast majority of the Bedouin in question were from areas in southern Israel, and were expelled from Israel shortly after the nation was founded. They resumed their nomadic, livestock herding lifestyle in the West Bank after the expulsion, but have seen their grazing land get smaller and smaller as the Israeli military claims more and more areas as “off-limits.”
Now they’re on the move again, to a village near Jericho, where they presumably will have to abandon nomadic herding entirely in favor of being villagers. They’re still hoping EU pressure will stop the latest forced move, but if not that’s where their story will end.
And where someone else’s story begins. The village they’re being forced into isn’t empty either, though it likewise soon will be. The village is full of Palestinian residents who the Israeli government is arguing built there ‘illegally,’ and the existing villagers will be expelled someplace else in favor of the Bedouins, who don’t want to move their in the first place.
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