Entire Bedouin Village Demolished

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At five o’clock this morning more than 200 police and green patrol descended upon the Bedouin encampment of Abdallah al-Atrash, in the area of Rahat. Over the following 6 hours, they proceeded to demolish the entire village and forcibly expel all 20 families living there. Not a single structure was left standing, and all men, women, and children were pushed off their land.

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The court case had been in the courts since 2000, but 4 days ago the demolition and evacuation order was served in the village. The government had ordered them to vacate the land immediately, but provided no alternative location to go to. No solution was given, nor were any suggestions made; they were simply told ‘go.’

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They had been living in the same location for close to 20 years, after having been expelled from their previous homes farther to the west. The people belong to the Atrash tribe, and are likely to go live with relatives near Hura, in an unrecognized village of the Atrash. Some will stay on this land, and told me they plan to sleep amongst the rubble of their demolished homes tonight, until new tents can be erected on the land.

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This expulsion comes days after the publication of the Goldberg Commission’s recommendations, which advocate recognition for Bedouin villages to the east of Route 40. Abdallah al-Atrash lies to the west.

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~ by Josh on December 15, 2008.

5 Responses to “Entire Bedouin Village Demolished”

  1. hi josh,

    just to say I recently started following your blog and find it quite interesting. I am neither jewish or arab but have always had a penchant for mid-east politics.
    I worked for several years in an art gallery, and also love calligraphy.

    so, thanks for all the updates / photos of what’s happening over there.

    Best regards,

    Michele
    Montreal, Canada

  2. it is awful, what happens to the ‘unrecognized’ people. you are in an excellent position, being able to document such happenings. i’d like to spend some time over there some day…

  3. cool. did you take the photographs? where are the folks now?
    did the government destroy the village, or did they end up doing it themselves?

  4. I did take the photos, some people are still on that land, having put up new tents. Some are living with family in other villages in the Negev. The government did destroy the village, those are government bulldozers in the pictures.
    j

  5. Hi Josh Can i use your text, with due credit, to accompany my photographs to send to media in Australia and internationally?

    Jessie

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