Stop the Forced Relocation of 46 Bedouin Communities
September 11, 2014: Press Release: World leaders must stop Israeli forced transfer of Palestinian Bedouins
Signed by 44 members of Assoc. of Intnl. Development Agencies (AIDA)
In September 2014, the Israeli government published spatial plans for a ‘Bedouin township’ in Nuweimeh near Jericho. The plan will forcibly transfer Bedouin families across 3 Bedouin tribes: Jahalin, Kaabneh, and Rashayda from their modest homes near Jerusalem, Ramallah, and Jericho peripheries, to a barren area without job prospects or grazing area. Forcible transfer is prohibited under Article 47 of the Fourth Geneva Convention. Some of the communities are currently located in an area that has been allocated for the expansion of Israeli settlements. This includes the E1 plan, which entails the construction of thousands of new settlement housing and commercial units, creating a continuous built-up area between the Ma’ale Adummim settlement and Jerusalem, planned to be surrounded by the Separation Barrier. If implemented, these plans will undermine Palestinian presence in the area, further disconnect East Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank, and disrupt the territorial contiguity of the occupied territory.
Atallah Mazara is a member of the Jahalin tribe, Salamat clan, who are all 1948 refugees from the Negev. He’s from the Jabal al Baba encampment, on E-1, where family members have lived for over 60 years. They live just opposite the Israeli settlement called Ma’ale Adumim. He is a community spokesperson, working hard to improve his community’s conditions, with outreach to other communities too. He has a business partner in the Negev, and together they’re involved in construction, though, as a West Bank ID holder, he’s not allowed into Israel. He completed two years at university in development of building construction projects. He’s married, with five children and will be presenting in Arabic with a translator.
Angela Godfrey-Goldstein is Co-Founder of the Jahalin Association (Nabi Samwel), an initiative of Bedouin Jahalin, Israeli, Palestinian and international civil society dedicated to protecting the rights of Jahalin Bedouin. Angela began campaigning for Bedouin land rights in Sinai, succeeding in fighting demolition of Bedouin camps there when the Egyptian Government was forced, for the first time to grant licenses to Bedouin landowners. She secured major funding from Egyptian Swiss Development Fund for 2 Bedouin NGOs in South and North Sinai. Angela, an Israeli since 1981, holds dual British nationality. She was Advocacy Officer at The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions from 2002 to 2011 regularly briefing journalists, diplomats, politicians, church leaders, activists, and visitors. She has presented in foreign ministries and parliaments. European Parliament (2006 & 2013), United Nations New York and Geneva, British Parliament (Portcullis House), UN Conferences, 2006 Presbyterian GA, inaugurated the Malmo Social Forum (with Mustafa Barghouti), and conducted international speaking tours with Bedouin spokespersons. She organized three missions to the United Nations in New York in 2013 and 2014.