Israel’s government caves in:
Bedouin trespassers in Maaleh Adumim area will not be evacuated

State notifies Supreme Court it will not evacuate illegal settlement clusters within Maaleh Adumim municipal boundaries.

Mordechai Sones,

Jahalin
Jahalin
Regavim

The State of Israel has invested many millions in “West Jahalin,” a modern neighborhood complete with infrastructure and generous residential plots located near Abu Dis, with the intention of relocating – free of charge – some 70 Bedouin families squatting in dozens of illegal structures within the municipal boundaries of Maaleh Adumim. Maaleh Adumim is a city located 4.3 miles southeast of Jerusalem in the Judean Desert..

In response to a petition submitted by the Regavim Movement for protecting Israel sovereignty to the Supreme Court in 2009, the State was ordered to evacuate the Jahalin clan and demolish the illegal structures in which they are living, but not before providing alternative housing. The State then spent years and millions of shekels, and announced that discussions between the Civil Administration and representatives of the Bedouin had resulted in agreement: The Jahalin clan would relocate voluntarily and build permanent homes on the parcels of land granted to each family, free of charge, in the new neighborhood built for them on State land near Abu Dis.

When Regavim returned to the Court two years later to request that the relocation and demolition orders be carried out, the Jahalin clan was "represented" by the Palestinian Authority and the European Union, who vehemently opposed the relocation - despite the fact that the clan had agreed to move, and despite the fact that the relocation is in their best interests.

Last month the Israeli Government did an about-face, and announced that it would not, at present, enforce the demolition orders, and would not evacuate the residents of the illegal settlement clusters. The flip-flop was brought about by Palestinian Authority pressure on the Jahalin Bedouin not to leave the area they had seized, for strategic reasons: The Adumim Region is part of the PA’s plan to take control of strategic points that fall under full Israeli control under the Oslo Accords (Area C). This plan, also known as the Fayyad Plan, targets areas that create a territorially contiguous corridor from Bethlehem in the south to Ramallah, in the north, with which the PA intends to create the basis of a de facto Palestinian state - without the need for negotiation or Israeli recognition or agreement.

The illegal building also prevents Israel from connecting Maale Adumim to Jerusalem and enlarging the capital city to the east..

Following the Government’s recent about-face, the Supreme Court denied Regavim’s motion to enforce pending demolition orders.

“There’s no other way to describe it: Plain and simple, the State of Israel has caved in to PA threats,” says Avi Segal, the attorney representing Regavim. “This irresponsible and infuriating behavior sends a clear message to building offenders that they can carry on doing as they please. Even worse, it is a shot in the arm for the Palestinian Authority’s plan to seize control of strategic territorial assets.”




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