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שבט הג'האלין

Jahalin is not just Khan al-Ahmar! Many Bedouin communities in the Judean Desert are in danger of destruction!

The next three posts relate to 3 communities of the Bedouin Jahalin tribe, the same tribe whose one family (Abu Dahuk) lives in the village of Khan al-Ahmar. We selected three communities to represent three difficulties suffered by the Bedouin communities in the area between East Jerusalem and the outskirts of Jericho, where about 7,500 residents live. The difficulties described below apply to all Bedouin communities in the area but the emphasis and intensity itself varies. Unemployment, restrictions on movement and work, difficulties in providing education, poor infrastructure that leads to poor sanitation conditions and poor access to medical services all mean that there are almost no elderly people in the communities. Life expectancy is about 20 years lower than that of Jewish neighbors and infant mortality is 10 times greater. This is the reality in which more than 20 Bedouin communities in the Judean Desert live under Israeli control and have already been expelled once from their homes in the Negev. All of these communities are in danger of deportation and almost all buildings have demolition orders. Repeated requests from the communities to arrange their settlement after about 70 years in the area and building infrastructure are not consistently answered.

 

Wadi Abu Hindi - Education as an Impossible Mission

The village of Wadi Abu Hindi is located southeast of Ma'ale Adumim and near the settlement of Kedar. The locals originated in the Tel Arad and Beer Sheva area, from where they were expelled in the early 1950s and settled by agreement on land owned by residents of Abu Dis. There is no kindergarten in the place, but there is a school for grades 1-9 made of wooden and tin boards where about 140 students from all the Jahalin in the area study. In the winter, when the roads are blocked, the teachers do not come to the school and the studies are stopped. Similarly, many times the high school students do not come to the school in Swahara due to the weather damage and the bumpy roads. The road to the high school passes through a water passage under the road and is flooded in winter with rainwater. The road is bumpy and long but families are struggling against all odds to provide education for their children. During the winter, students return in the dark in an unlit way, to homes without electricity. Homework is done in the evening by lanterns or candles.

 

Al-Muntar - Medical and hygienic conditions

The settlement is located near Mount Montar, east and southeast of the settlement of Kedar. Like their brothers, the residents of El Muntar also came here after being expelled from the Tel Arad area and settled by agreement on private lands owned by residents of Swahara, who, according to the residents, have long since given up in their favor. Residents complain that the odors at the landfill site reach them. The hazard is particularly disturbing to children and pregnant women. In addition, Kedar's sewage flows near the Bedouin settlement, causing severe odors, diseases and mosquitoes, especially in summer. On the other hand in El Montar, as in the rest of the Jahalin communities there is almost no immediate medical services. Poor medical accessibility in addition to poverty causes shortages of medicines, and partial treatment. The dilapidated infrastructure and lack of vehicles prevents urgent medical evacuation when needed for example for childbirth and many of the women give birth in a tent with no choice.

 

Abu Nawar - Unemployment

The settlement of Abu Nawar is located southwest of Ma'ale Adumim, west of the access road to Kedar. Members of this community were evacuated from the Tel Arad area, and settled in this area in the mid-1960s on private land owned by residents of Abu Dis, with the consent of the landowners. In the past, the only source of livelihood for the Bedouin was grazing, but in recent years the possibility of earning a living from this industry has diminished. Grazing areas are being closed due to massive Jewish construction in the area, fire areas and even the purchase of "Jewish" herds by residents of Kfar Adumim and Alon in order to create economic suffocation for the communities and encourage voluntary transfer. The Abu Nawar residents now have herds of about 3,000 heads of sheep, which they take out to graze in the wadi below the waste disposal site and in the Kedar area. The veterinary service on behalf of the Palestinian Authority is provided in an irregular and insufficient manner. The herds provide families with basic food products on which they rely. In the past, they sold their produce in Jerusalem, but today they are only allowed to sell to Abu Dis and Azaria, and the price is lower. They are forbidden to cultivate the land for agricultural purposes, and in any case the soil is rocky and difficult to cultivate. In the past, some of the residents worked in construction in the settlements and surrounding villages, but as part of the economic suffocation led by the Jerusalem Envelope Forum of neighboring Jewish localities (Kfar Adumim, Alon, Nofei Prat, Mitzpe Jericho and more) the Bedouin are no longer allowed to work in localities. %. The women do not make a living at all.