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Forced relocations from the West Bank fit decades-old plan- The National

August 2012

“South Africa has decided that anything produced in the West Bank must be labelled as coming from the Occupied Palestinian Territories, rather than Israel, as the labels now read. The ruling suggests that the global movement known as “Boycott Divestment and Sanctions” is picking up speed.

But Israel is also stepping up its process of forced relocations from the land, increasing pressure on Arabs on both sides of the Green Line. The forced transfers most often associated with the 1948 war did not end with the armistice agreements. They continue today, through overt plans to “relocate” Bedouin citizens of Israel using bureaucratic manoeuvring and the manipulation of the law that pushes West Bank Palestinians off their ancestral lands.

The United Nations reports that in the first six months of this year, Israeli demolitions in “Area C” – which makes up 61 per cent of the West Bank – led to the “forced displacement” of 615 Palestinians and Bedouins, more than half of them children. If demolitions continue at this rate, displacements will exceed those of 2011, in which 1,095 people were made homeless by Israel. In Area C, dozens of Palestinian and Bedouin villages are threatened with demolition, and over 27,000 men, women and children face forced transfer. Most of these people are refugees.


In the West Bank, Israel restricts Palestinian and Bedouin access to water, crippling agriculture, the traditional livelihood of many residents. And of course there is the separation wall and the system of checkpoints and permits, making it difficult for many – and impossible for some – to reach schools, work, health care, friends and families. The resulting economic and psychological pressures have led some to emigrate.


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