“Israeli plan to move West Bank Bedouin stirs controversy”
A plan by the Israeli authorities to relocate about 2,000 Palestinian Bedouins living in the desert hills east of Jerusalem is raising concerns among U.N. officials and human rights advocates about Israel’s aims in a strategic area of the West Bank.
“…Id Jahalin, 46, a member of a local action committee in Khan al-Ahmar, said that members of his tribe had been living at the site before Kfar Adumim was built and had no intention of leaving. “I was born here,” he said. “The settlers have roads, electricity and phone service. What’s the problem with giving us the same?”
Jahalin said he believed the motive behind the Israeli plan was to “evict the people and clear the land for the settlements.”
Raphael Engel, a settlement official who monitors land issues for Kfar Adumim, said the Bedouins at Khan al-Ahmar were illegal squatters on land that falls inside the settlement’s municipal boundary, which stretches far beyond its built-up area.
The area, Engel said, is a part of the land reserve for the settlement’s future expansion, which he said could include “green areas, commercial structures, public buildings and a school.”
“Our mission is to safeguard these areas for the benefit of the state of Israel in the future,” Engel added. “These are strategic areas.”..”
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Full article by Joel Greenberg here: