Israeli military bulldozers demolished several sheds and tents belonging to the Al-Jahalin Bedouin tribe, north west of Jerusalem on Wednesday.Eyewitnesses reported that the army demolished 13 sheds and tents leaving several families without shelter, and without barns for their livestock.
Bedouins in different parts of the country are subject to regular harassment by Israeli soldiers and settlers, repeatedly finding their homes and shelters destroyed in various parts of the West Bank and the Negev.
Residents of Al-Jahalin originate from an area north of Be’er Al Sabe’ (Be’er Sheva), and were forced out of their lands by armed Israeli groups and soldiers in 1950. Their lands were then taken away by the state of Israel and came under Israeli control.
After the 1967 Six-Day War, several families managed to flee to Jordan. The remaining members of the Al-Jahalin tribe were targeted again, and their land was placed under strict and arbitrary Israeli military orders.
Some residents of Al-Jahalin were forced into exile in Jordan, while the rest were forced to relocate in areas in Israeli controlled East Jerusalem, and Jericho.
In the 1970’s, fifty families of Al-Jahalin settled in an area incorporated into the Abu Dis district in Israeli controlled East Jerusalem. In the mid 1990’s, Israel’s settlement activities resulted in repeated attacks against the Bedouin, leading to demolitions of camps, and attempts to remove them from the area. The attacks continued, and there has been a sharp escalation in the numbers of attacks in the last two years.
The Al-Jahalin area was classified as area ‘C’ as part of the Oslo Peace Agreement signed between Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organisation in 1993. This means the area and Bedouin village was placed under full Israeli administrative and security control; who classed it as an uninhabited area leading to more hardships among its Bedouin residents.