[News] Israel forces Umm al-Hiran villagers to "agree" to expulsion

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Thu Apr 12 10:55:16 EDT 2018


  Israel forces Umm al-Hiran villagers to "agree" to expulsion

Tamara Nassar <https://electronicintifada.net/people/tamara-nassar> - 12 
April 2018


The Israeli government has forced residents of the Palestinian Bedouin 
village of Umm al-Hiran 
<https://electronicintifada.net/tags/umm-al-hiran> to agree to be 
expelled from their homes and resettled to the Bedouin town of Hura 
<https://electronicintifada.net/tags/hura> in the southern Naqab 
<https://electronicintifada.net/tags/naqab-negev> region under threats 
of violence.

A community leader, Raed Abu al-Qiyan, said that the Israeli 
government’s Bedouin resettlement authority forced residents to sign the 
agreement in the early dawn hours of Tuesday as the Israelis brought 
police and demolition teams into the village.

He said that the families of about 170 residents signed on to the 
agreement, fearing a repeat of the “blood and murder” of January 2017 
when Israeli police demolished homes in the village and killed 
a 50-year-old Palestinian math teacher 

“I speak to you while I cry, after we were forced to sign an agreement 
that will distance us from Umm al-Hiran where we have lived for 63 
years, for the racist purpose of building a Jewish-only settlement on 
the ruins of Umm al-Hiran,” al-Qiyan told 
the publication /Arab48./

    “An act of extreme racism”

The legal advocacy group Adalah 
<https://electronicintifada.net/tags/adalah>, which has represented 
residents of Umm al-Hiran for 15 years, on Wednesday condemned the 
reported agreement.

Adalah said <https://www.adalah.org/en/content/view/9467> its lawyers 
“took no part in the negotiations to reach a settlement with Israeli 
authorities due to our principled opposition to eviction and demolition.”

Adalah called the forced displacement of Umm al-Hiran’s residents an 
“act of extreme racism, embodying Israel’s colonialist land policies 
with the backing of the entire Israeli court system.”

“Israel is moving forward with the destruction of Umm al-Hiran in a plan 
– reminiscent of the darkest of regimes such as apartheid-era South 
Africa – to build a new Jewish-only town on its ruins,” Adalah added.

    Court challenge

On Monday, Adalah had filed a petition 
<https://www.adalah.org/en/content/view/9460> to Israel’s high court, 
demanding that authorities cancel the imminent destruction of the village.

Yet Israeli police, accompanied by demolition workers, arrived in the 
village early Tuesday to survey the area for demolition, according 
to /Arab48./

    israeli police enter the palestinian village of umm al-hiran this
    morning to inspect, prepare for impending demolition. israel plans
    to build a jewish-only settlement atop it, and 350 palestinians
    would be forced into homelessness.

    pictures via journalist khaled abu kharma / fb
    pic.twitter.com/UwAPhfBRZ0 <https://t.co/UwAPhfBRZ0>

    — Tamara Nassar (@TamaraINassar) April 10, 2018

Israel announced 
its demolition plans 
on 21 March when Israeli police posted eviction notices on homes and the 
village’s mosque stating that demolition would take place between 15 and 
29 April.

    Jewish-only settlement

If carried out, Israel will make 350 Palestinians – all citizens of 
Israel – homeless <https://www.adalah.org/en/content/view/9441>.

Only “a Jewish-Israeli citizen or permanent resident of Israel who 
observes the Torah and commandments according to Orthodox Jewish values” 
will be permitted to live in the new settlement, according to documents 
<https://www.adalah.org/en/content/view/9186> obtained by Adalah last 

Residents of the new settlement, to be called Hiran, would also have to 
be approved by an admissions committee.

This discriminatory policy contradicts Israel’s 2015 high court ruling 
that the planned settlement will not prevent anyone from living there, 
including Palestinian Bedouins, according to Adalah.

In its petition, Adalah noted that this is “one of the most severe cases 
in the legal history of Arab citizens of Israel since 1948.”

Israel was established in that year as 750,000 Palestinians were 
ethnically cleansed by Zionist militias. The approximately 160,000 
Palestinians who remained behind in what became Israel were granted 
Israeli citizenship. But until 1966, they lived under military rule and 
saw the Israeli state continuously confiscating their land 
and treating them as an enemy within, rather than as citizens with full 
and equal rights.

Today, numbering about 1.5 million, Palestinian citizens of Israel 
continue to live under dozens of discriminatory laws 

    Demolition and looting

Meanwhile, in the occupied West Bank on Monday, Israeli forces 
demolished <https://paltoday.ps/ar/post/320655> and dismantled a primary 
school in the Bedouin town of Dahariya, south of Hebron.

    Demolition of #Palestinian
    structures reported overnight and this morning in Jibiya and Zanuta
    pic.twitter.com/wzI3AonCPV <https://t.co/wzI3AonCPV>

    — OCHA oPt (Palestine) (@ochaopt) April 10, 2018

The Zanuta school was one of seven opened by the Palestinian Authority 
in March to challenge Israeli encroachment in the area.

The school served more than 40 students and had six rooms and a clinic.

Local media tweeted photos of the demolished school and of children 
gathering for class by its ruins:

    بعد أن هدمها الاحتلال وصادر محتوياتها..صور من مدرسة زنوتا جنوب
    الخليل، صباح اليوم. pic.twitter.com/0A825gT7Pe <https://t.co/0A825gT7Pe>

    — شبكة قدس الإخبارية (@qudsn) April 10, 2018

    نام الطلبة أمس ليستيقظوا صباح اليوم فلا يجدوا مدرستهم.
    قوات الاحتلال تهدم مدرسة زنوتا الأساسية المختلطة شرق الظاهرية جنوب
    pic.twitter.com/6NWJ3oqhJG <https://t.co/6NWJ3oqhJG>

    — Razan Alsa'afin (@Razanmedia) April 10, 2018

“Despite the demolition, the schoolchildren still showed up to school on 
Tuesday in the cold rain. Their teachers conducted classes on the floor 
of the remaining structure,” the Ma’an News Agency reported 

Israel is threatening to demolish at least 45 Palestinian schools across 
the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, the UN humanitarian 
coordination agency OCHA stated 
in February.

Israel has already destroyed a number of schools, many funded by 
international donors. However those donors, particularly the European 
Union and its members, have done nothing 
to hold Israel accountable.

Also in Hebron, dozens of Israeli settlers occupied a building near the 
Ibrahimi mosque on 26 March under the protection of the Israeli army.

    PHOTO: An Israeli soldier guards a family of settlers standing in
    front of a Palestinian home in Hebron after occupying it the
    previous night https://t.co/juC2KADkmu #PalestineInPictures
    pic.twitter.com/L6c4KJ5SRG <https://t.co/L6c4KJ5SRG>

    — Electronic Intifada (@intifada) April 4, 2018

These homes were previously occupied by Israeli settlers from the group 
Hashmiei Kol Ohalech, which allegedly purchases homes in the West Bank 
to encourage Israeli settlement, but were evacuated in 2016.

Last July, another group of settlers from the same organization occupied 
another building in Hebron belonging to the Abu Rajab family 
<https://electronicintifada.net/tags/abu-rajab-house>, but were ordered 
out in March by Israel’s high court after they provided no proof of 

Palestinian media tweeted photos of the settlers moving their belongings 
from the Abu Rajab home:

    مستوطنون يُخلون أغراضهم من منزل عائلة أبو رجب قرب المسجد الإبراهيمي
    في مدينة الخليل قبل قليل pic.twitter.com/Y1TYOutg4p

    — شبكة قدس الإخبارية (@qudsn) March 29, 2018

The Israeli newspaper /Haaretz/ reported 
that “the settlers agreed to leave the house after they were promised 
ownership deliberations would be expedited.”

Israeli settlers routinely use forged and fraudulent 
real estate transactions in their efforts to claim ownership over 
Palestinian property.

All Israeli settlements in the West Bank are illegal under international 

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