Warning: include(/var/www/vhosts/iqna.org/httpdocs/wp-includes/wp-admin/js/ajax.php): failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /var/www/vhosts/iqna.org/httpdocs/wp-config.php on line 43 Warning: include(): Failed opening '/var/www/vhosts/iqna.org/httpdocs/wp-includes/wp-admin/js/ajax.php' for inclusion (include_path='.:') in /var/www/vhosts/iqna.org/httpdocs/wp-config.php on line 43 What the occupation means for the Makhul Bedouins | IQNA

What the occupation means for the Makhul Bedouins

Tucked in the hills of the Jordan Valley, between the Jewish settlements of Ro’i and Hemdat, north east of Nablus, lies the Palestinian Bedouin settlement of Khirbet Makhul. Arriving at Makhul, just off route 578, I cannot believe that this has actually been a village. From the mess, one can hardly distinguish what have been the village’s structures and homes. While residents are sorting what is left of their homes and animal shacks, an Israeli military vehicle is patrolling the area; even a drone is flying over Makhul. It is clear the Israelis are in charge here. We have just heard that the Israeli military has demolished the village’s structures the night before. The reason: the residents had built these structures without a permit. However, many of these Bedouins have been living there for decades, some even before 1967. And it is nearly impossible to get construction permits anyway; during the years 2009-2012, only 2.3 % of applications for building permits were approved. That leaves them with no other option than to build without a permit and wait for their homes to be demolished again. In Makhul this has happened frequently in the past months.

Now, these people have nowhere to go. They are not allowed to connect to the water grid – while the Jewish settlements nearby have access to plenty of water – forcing them to buy expensive water from private companies. Worse still, the Israeli authorities have repeatedly refused both community members and international organizations to allow humanitarian aid to the residents. Likewise, even essential supplies like tents are being demolished.

Such forced displacement of Palestinians and denying their right to live a normal life is against the international law Israel is obliged to abide by.

The demolition is part of Israel’s longstanding policy towards such herding communities. The Israeli Civil Administration prevents Palestinians from using land that is often designated a ‘military zone’. Israel refrains from drawing up plans for these communities and excludes Palestinians from building legally. According to the Israeli human rights organization Btselem, this policy of removing Palestinians from the area is intended to ensure permanent Israeli control over the area and annexing the area to Israel, even within the framework of a diplomatic agreement. Even during the current negotiations, Israeli authorities create faits accomplish on the ground, further limiting the area of a future Palestinian state.


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