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Nowhere Left To Go: Bedouin of the West Bank. By Gabriel Romero.

Nowhere Left to Go: Bedouin of the West Bank [Photo Essay]

The following are selections from a photo essay by Gabriel Romero, in association with the Alexia Foundation and ZUMA Press — launched May 26, 2014 on zReportage.com

The West Bank is an Israeli-occupied, Palestinian territory that is home to approximately 17,000 Bedouin tribespeople. This population is comprised of five separate tribes who are traditionally nomadic and agro-pastoralist. These Bedouin originate in the Negev Desert but, following the 1948 establishment of the State of Israel, they were forced to move from the Negev and into an area west of the Jordan River, at that time administered by Jordan. Following the 1967 Six Day War, they found themselves under the administration of an Israeli government that has occupied the area known as the West Bank ever since.

The current plight of these Bedouin is a tragic consequence of the occupation, under which they endure crippling poverty and degradation. Israel’s introduction of a separation wall in 2004, and its expansion of illegal Jewish settlements throughout the West Bank have further pushed the Bedouin into small, slum-like camps, effectively ending their nomadic existence. The Israeli government does not permit the Bedouin to build permanent structures and the army – with little or no warning – regularly destroys their temporary ones under the pretext of a violation of the law.

The future of the Bedouin throughout the West Bank is extremely uncertain. They are now facing a breakdown of their traditional culture and simply have nowhere left to go. Life has always been tough for these nomadic Arab tribes, but they now face a great challenge from the Israeli authorities settling Israeli citizens in the area.

Photo by Gabriel Romero/Alexia Foundation ©2014
A man carrying tin sheets to help repair a dwelling that was nearly destroyed during the previous day's demolitions. Dec. 10, 2013. Al Jiftlik, West Bank, Palestinian Territories. (Photo by Gabriel Romero/Alexia Foundation ©2014)

 

Photo by Gabriel Romero/Alexia Foundation ©2014.
Children stand on the roof of a mosque that was destroyed the day before. Dec. 4, 2013. West Bank, Palestinian Territories. (Photo by Gabriel Romero/Alexia Foundation ©2014)

 

A boy explores the ruins of his newly demolished home in the Bedouin camp of Al Auja. Dec. 4, 2013. West Bank, Palestinian Territories. (Photo by Gabriel Romero/Alexia Foundation ©2014)

 

A village elder in the ruins of his home in Al Auja that was destroyed the night before by the Israeli army. Dec. 4, 2013. West Bank, Palestinian Territories. (Photo by Gabriel Romero/Alexia Foundation ©2014)

 

A dead sheep that lived through the bulldozing of a pen that killed over thirty other sheep, only to die the next day from its injuries. Dec. 4, 2013. West Bank, Palestinian Territories. (Photo by Gabriel Romero/Alexia Foundation ©2014)
Photo by Gabriel Romero/Alexia Foundation ©2014.
A barefoot girl in the dust and rocks of her camp at Wadi Meleh. Nov. 25, 2013. West Bank, Palestinian Territories. (Photo by Gabriel Romero/Alexia Foundation ©2014)


 

(Photo by Gabriel Romero/Alexia Foundation ©2014)
A man takes a break from repairing an animal pen to roll a Bedouin cigarette, which consists of tobacco and heishi. West Bank, Palestinian Territories. (Photo by Gabriel Romero/Alexia Foundation ©2014)

 

Photo by Gabriel Romero/Alexia Foundation ©2014.
A Bedouin family forced to live in their animal pen after the Israeli army had destroyed their home. Dec. 21, 2013. West Bank, Palestinian Territories. (Photo by Gabriel Romero/Alexia Foundation ©2014)

 

Photo by Gabriel Romero/Alexia Foundation ©2014.
An elder of Al Ram stands in front of the separation wall, which has resulted in his village having only a small fraction of the grazing land they once had. The introduction of the wall has had perhaps the greatest impact on their lives in the modern era. Dec. 21, 2013. West Bank, Palestinian Territories. (Photo by Gabriel Romero/Alexia Foundation ©2014)


Check out the full-photo essay “Nowhere Left to Go” and more of Gabriel’s work at: http://www.thepicturesoftheday.com/zReportage.html?num=zrep528

Gabriel Romero - zReportage.com PhotographerGABRIEL ROMERO is based in Los Angeles, California, and is represented by ZUMA Press. He specializes in local and international news in the areas of conflict, environmental, and humanitarian coverage. Most recently his work has focused on Middle Eastern issues. (© Gabriel Romero /ZUMAPRESS.com)

 

 

 

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