Last May, the Israeli High Court ruled against the Palestinian Bedouin community of Al Khan al Ahmar and all Bedouin refugees living in Area C whose homes bear outstanding demolition orders. The Bedouin school and village may be demolished at any time. International pressure on Israel has often been known to help prevent forced displacement of Palestinians.
In recent elections, Jewish Power, a radical right-wing party now joining Netanyahu’s government, made the destruction of the community a central part of its platform; other leading politicians from various parties also consistently called for its demolition. The bulldozers could appear again any morning, and we need to be ready to draw international attention at a moment’s notice.
Last year, Jahalin Solidarity played a leading role in mobilising that international pressure: for example, our social media campaign produced thousands of letters to British MP’s, so that 109 signed an Early Day Motion that we helped to formulate and which is ongoing. We provided resources and real-time reporting to 250+ international journalists, reported daily to some 200 diplomats, including in capitals and supported campaigns targeting Congress and other parliaments. This activism produced congressional letters to Trump, a European Parliament resolution calling for Al Khan al Ahmar not to be demolished, statements by UN Security Council member states, many other statements by western leaders, as well as by the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court.
Originally from Tel Arad in southern Israel, the residents of Al Khan al Ahmar were forcibly displaced in 1951, so resettled in the desert east of Jerusalem. In the 1990s, Israel began carrying out the community’s second displacement, and designated their land for the expansion of the nearby settlements of Ma’ale Adumim and now for Kfar Adumim. Displacing the 7000+ Bedouin in the Jerusalem Periphery makes the E-1 Development Plan possible: this will prevent Palestinians from having reasonable access to Jerusalem or a sovereign border with Jordan. The Bedouins of Al Khan al Ahmar are gatekeepers of Jerusalem and guardians of the possibility of a two state solution.
Some 300,000 Palestinians reside in the 60% of the West Bank under full Israeli control, which is experiencing creeping annexation, settler colonialism, apartheid policies, and the threat of full annexation, according to leaks and rumours of the imminent Trump “deal of the century.” In recent years an alarming number has come under ongoing threat of forced displacement. Such actions are war crimes, crimes against humanity, and cultural genocide as a result of Israel’s illegal occupation policies. We at Jahalin Solidarity cannot afford to lose focus in these dangerous days. For this, we need your help.