Israel is threatening to forcibly transfer several Palestinian communities entirely to make way for settlements in the occupied West Bank.
The Israeli army issued orders to the communities of Ein al-Hilweh and Umm Jamal in the northern Jordan Valley on 9 November, demanding immediate and total eviction of all residents within eight days.
Entire communities targeted
In all cases, the expulsion orders targeted entire communities. These collective expulsion orders had until relatively recently not been used against Palestinian communities. Rather, Israel issued orders to individual households.
Israel originally intended the collective orders for the removal of settlers from unauthorized outposts, though they were rarely used for that purpose, according to Tawfique Jabareen, an attorney representing Ein al-Hilweh and Umm Jamal residents.
“This is the beginning of an old policy, but with new methods and tools,” he said.
Jabal al-Baba is located between Maaleh Adumim and Jerusalem.
It is home to 300 members of the Jahalin Bedouin tribe.
The Jahalin were originally displaced from the southern Naqab region (known in Hebrew as the Negev) during the Nakba – the ethnic cleansing of more than 750,000 Palestinians by Zionist militias – in 1948.
The community’s presence in that area is a thorn in Israel’s plan to colonize the land, expand Maaleh Adumim and connect it to Jerusalem.
This would effectively complete the severing of the West Bank into isolated northern and southern cantons.
“Our parents and grandparents lived through it and now I am supposed to live through it again,” said Atallah Jahalin, a resident of Jabal al-Baba.
“We keep moving from Nakba to Nakba.”
Video by ActiveStills