Bedouin face expulsion to make way for settlers

The largest bedouin tribe in the Jerusalem area faces expulsion from its camps and has been told to live beside the city's main rubbish dump. The government wants to expand the Israeli settlement at Maale Adummim, east of Jerusalem.

The 1,500 members of the Jahalin bedouin tribe are the casualties of an accelerated government plan to strengthen a ring of Israeli settlements encircling Jerusalem. On a hilltop overlooking a wadi, where 16 families of the Abu Ghalia section of the tribe live, construction workers and bulldozers are working on homes for an extra 30,000 settlers before Jerusalem's status is determined in negotiations.

Within the past month a hillside has been levelled and covered with half-built homes. Suleiman Mazara, a member of the Jahalin, says: "We refuse to go and live by the rubbish dump at Abu Dis. Humans cannot survive there. We have certificates from doctors that it is an unhealthy place. It is rocky and there is nowhere for the bedouin to put their tents." At the same time the Abu Ghalia clan have difficulty staying where they are, as Maale Adummim now covers hillsides where they once grazed 300 goats.

The Jahalin are determined not to go until they get somewhere else to live. The tribe says it moved to the parched and then vacant hills between Jerusalem and the Dead Sea in 1950, when it was under Jordanian rule, after being forced to leave traditional lands at al-Arad, near Beersheba, in the Negev desert.

Turfa Abu Ghalia, 77, recalls: "The police gave us three days to move. Then soldiers came and attacked the tribe and frightened us, so everybody ran. We left our tents and took only our flocks."

Construction of Maale Ad- ummim started in 1978. It has become the largest Israeli settlement on the West Bank. A dormitory suburb for Jerusalem, its buildings are deserted during the day. As it expands, the Jahalin in their tents and shacks are being submerged. Villagers say blasting to clear the site for a school overlooking their camp sent a rock crashing through a tent roof.

The Jahalin see themselves as victims of a campaign of harassment. Mr Mazara says that last November "at about 4am a friend came to where I live to say the police and soldiers were arresting people. They tried to arrest Turfa Abu Ghalia but she resisted and we ended up having to take her to hospital. They took the men to Maale Adummim police station."

On Monday the tribe was jubilant after a High Court judge gave a stay of execution on an eviction order. But the tribe's rejoicing may be premature: their encampments look like islands amid construction machinery and half-built houses.

Turfa Abu Ghalia says she would like to go back to the Negev. "All we want is a place where we will have our children and our animals and where we will be left alone."

Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
premier league
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
people'I hated him during those times'
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
Dame Vivienne Westwood has been raging pretty much all of her life
peopleMemoir extracts show iconic designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Life and Style
fashionAlexander Fury's Spring/Summer 2015 London Fashion Week roundup
Arts and Entertainment
Lauryn Hill performing at the O2 Brixton Academy last night
musicSinger was more than 90 minutes late on stage in Brixton show
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
people''Women's rights is too often synonymous with man-hating'
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Head of Marketing and Communications - London - up to £80,000

£70000 - £80000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Group Head of Marketing and Communic...

Nursery Nurse

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: Level 3 Nursery Nurse required for ...

Nursery Nurse

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: L3 Nursery Nurses urgently required...

SEN Teaching Assistant

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: We have a number of schools based S...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam