Bedouins Facing Extinction

CNC report from Gaza
Added On February 6, 2013

Although life is tough enough for Palestinian Bedouins who live the nomad life, these Arab clans now find that their existence is at risk.

Israel, which occupies the West Bank, threatens to deport them in an attempt believed to make room for Israeli settlers in the Jordan Valley.

During recent years, a  majority of Bedouins were forcibly evicted from their tents by the Israeli Authorities under the protection of the Israeli army.

Israel has sent demolition notices to different Bedouin clans in the Jordan Valley area. While Human Rights Organizations succeeded to temporarily freeze the eviction plans, the threat still stands.

However, some Bedouins living in private lands also face the threat of being evicted from their ancestral lands to open the door for Jewish settlement expansion.

SOUNDBITE MOHAMMED JUHAISHAN, Bedouin of Al Ka'abneh clan
"We are living in a fear of being displaced and not finding a place to live. If we had a place to go we would have but there are no places. Our life depends on water and we go to the nearby spring to get it, and we won't find water in other place. Every day we are threatened to leave."

The Bedouins in the Palestinian Territories produce 25% of the market's needs of meat and dairy.

As a result of the Israeli restrictions on mobility, the farmers can't wander in lands searching for pastures and water for their herds of sheep and goats forcing them to rely on barely. The rising costs of barely has left the farmers in debt threatening the Bedouin life as Palestinian know it.

While most of the Bedouins' income comes from selling their cattle's meat and products, some of them work in the nearby settlements to sustain themselves.

Most Bedouins in the West Bank are refugees from Al Nakab desert, now in Israel. They were displaced when Israel was established in the 1948 war, or as Palestinians call it, "Nakba," meaning catastrophe. They fear that they will witness a new Nakba in 2013.