Entire Bedouin Village Demolished
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.
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.’
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.
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.