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Occupation magazine - Activism

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Demonstration: No building of a Jewish community by destroying a Bedouin village!
Tomorrow, Thur. Aug. 27 at 11:00 am, residents of the Bedouin village of Um
al-Hiran, jointly with the Regional Council for the Unrecognized Villages in
the Negev, will hold a demonstration and procession in the village, to
protest the start of construction of the Jewish community of Hiran which is
due to be built on the ruins of their village after its destruction.

Last Sunday, bulldozers began work on an area close to the village of Um al-
Hiran, in order to provide temporary housing to members of a Jewish
pioneering nucleus who intend to take up residence in the planned Hiran
community. According to the Hiran zoning master plan, the permanent
neighborhoods are to be established on the lands of the village of Um al-
Hiran, which would require its complete demolition. Construction of this
temporary housing, without offering any kind of acceptable solution to the
residents of Umm al-Hiran, leaves the future of the village under threat,
its inhabitants living under total uncertainty and great apprehension.

As they repeatedly made clear, residents of the village of Um al-Hiran do
not oppose the establishment of the Jewish Hiran, provided that it is not
carried out at their expense. They are quite open to plans of either a
single joint community or of two communities living side by side in good
neighborliness any solution enabling their village to remain in place
would be considered positive and acceptable. However, the government of
Israel and its various agencies seek to create facts on the ground and
simply ignore the villagers.

Background: The villagers of Um al-Hiran and its neighbor Atir, members of
the Abu Alkian Tribe, face being expelled for the third time. They had first
been expelled in 1949 from their ancestral lands at Wadi Zuballa, near where
Kibbutz Soval was established. In 1956 it was the state authorities which
settled them at their present location near the Yatir Forest. Long ago,
there was a court ruling stating that they have been officially permitted to
live at this location and cultivate the land. Nevertheless, on May this year
the Supreme Court authorized the destruction of the village of Um al-Hiran
and the removal of its residents in order to facilitate establishment of the
Jewish community of Hiran. At the same time was also authorized the removal
of their relatives, inhabitants of the village of Atir, in this case in
order to facilitate reforestation activities and extend the Yatir Forest. A
request for the Supreme Court to further deliberate on the issue is still

The position of the Recognition Forum is that the plan to establish a new
Jewish community on the ruins of a Bedouin village which had been in
existence for decades is a blatantly discriminatory act verging on racism
discrimination. We urge the government of Israel to stop all work at the
site, hold dialogue the residents and reach a mutually acceptable solution.

Contact: Raed - +972-(0)54-9732868
Michal +972-(0)54-5851700
Yariv - +972-(0)54-3330355
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