IDF issues evacuation order for Bedouin village near major settlement
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IDF issues evacuation order for Bedouin village near major settlement

Notice found lying on the ground Thursday gives residents of Jabal al-Baba eight days to evacuate sensitive E-1 area between Jerusalem and Ma'ale Adumim

Jacob Magid is the settlements correspondent for The Times of Israel.

Illustrative: Residents of the unrecognized Bedouin village of Umm al Hiran walk to their homes after a protest against the town's demolition, on August 27, 2015. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)
Illustrative: Residents of the unrecognized Bedouin village of Umm al Hiran walk to their homes after a protest against the town's demolition, on August 27, 2015. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

The IDF issued an evacuation order for an unrecognized Bedouin village outside the Israeli city-settlement of Ma’ale Adumim, local residents reported Friday.

Residents of Jabel al-Baba found the notice, signed by IDF Central Command head Roni Numa on November 1, lying on the ground outside the village the day prior.

The order, seen by The Times of Israel, instructs the roughly 300 residents to evacuate within eight days as the army prepares to demolish the village’s dozens of illegally built structures. No date has been set for the demolition, but from the army’s standpoint, the continued presence of the locals is illegal.

The order also prohibits any further construction in the village as well as the entry of individuals or equipment for the purpose of construction.

The Bedouin from the Jabalin tribe say they moved to the area after being expelled from the Negev in 1948. The village sits on a parcel of land between Jerusalem and Ma’ale Adumim known as E1.

Israel has long-planned to settle E1, joining Jerusalem and Ma’ale Adumim but faced widespread opposition from the international community and the Palestinians who fear the move would effectively bisect the West Bank.

In August, Israeli authorities dismantled a structure in the village that was slated to open as a kindergarten for 25 children that was built without a permit.

A number of traditionally nomadic Bedouin communities are based in the hills east of Jerusalem. Activists have long criticized Israel for neglecting their development needs and seeking to move them from sprawling encampments to urban residential areas. Palestinians fear this is to enable the expansion of settlements in the area, which could further isolate the Arab neighborhoods of East Jerusalem from other Palestinian population centers.

Similar evacuation orders were found earlier this week near two other unrecognized Bedouin villages in the northern Jordan Valley, Ein al-Hilweh and Umm al-Jamal. The notices were also signed by Numa on November 1.

Hagai El-Ad, Executive Director of the B’Tselem rights group, said “the forced deportation of the Bedouin residents constitutes a war crime.” He added that the evictions were part of a broader policy aimed at removing all Palestinians from Israeli-controlled Area C of the West Bank.

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