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URGENT: Act now to prevent eviction of 100-year-old Musa Abu Al-Qian and family tomorrow
Rabbi Arik Ascherman
The work to create a Jewish town called `Hiran` on the rubble of the Bedouin village of Um al-Hiran in Israel`s Negev has progressed to the point that eviction/demolition orders are being issued. 100-year-old Musa Hussein Abu Al-Qian and his family will be forced out of their homes tomorrow, Wednesday.
We are waging an all-out effort to persuade the Israeli government to freeze the eviction/demolition orders, and return to negotiations over a mutually agreeable solution. We are therefore asking you to express your concern now to Israel’s ambassador in your country. Please take action and urge the Israeli government to halt the evictions and resume talks with Musa and all the Bedouin families in Um al-Hiran.
Advanced negotiations in which several mutually agreeable solutions had been identified broke down in early December when the Israeli government insisted that residents move immediately to the Hura township, and only then continue talking. Residents feared that if they did that, the State would never feel a need to speak to them again.
“In a vacant lot where he has set up an aluminum shack in Hura, Ahmad Abu al-Kaeean, seventy-four-years-old, told the [Jerusalem] Post he [and thirty members of his family were] forced to relocate there despite the location having no infrastructure [no water or electricity] and having to sell almost all of his sheep herd because there is no grazing space. His shack has holes in its walls and is so cold one can see one’s breath inside. `They pressured me in every way to move. It was like putting a knife to my throat. They told me if I didn’t move they would demolish my house and I would have to pay a [$31,000] demolition cost,` he said.
“Residents say…they have not received any written guarantees that their living conditions would be anything close to what they currently have. They stress that they need room to keep up their agricultural way of life, including sheep herding. They also say that Hura residents have made clear that they don’t want the Umm al-Hiran residents coming to live there.” (“State Pressures Beduin to Leave Negev Village to Make Way for Jewish Town,” Jerusalem Post, Jan. 16, 2017)
Israel has a choice of showing the world the ugly face of discrimination, or a shining example of how it honors the commitment of its Declaration of Independence to total social and political equality, regardless of religion, race or gender.
Please act now and send your letter to the Israeli ambassador by clicking here. Or go to:
B`vrakha (in blessing),
Rabbi Arik Ascherman, co-founder of Haqel: Jews and Arabs for Human Rights
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