Palestinian residents of the Bedouin community in Wadi al-Seiq, east of the West Bank city of Ramallah, are experiencing a new Nakba as they are threatened with expulsion from their homes by the Israeli government, which seeks to take over and annex the area.
Over the past week, Wadi al-Seiq’s residents have received 24 notices ordering the evacuation and demolition of houses and tents inhabited by Palestinian families.
Representative of the Wadi al-Seiq Bedouin community Abu Bashar al-Ka’abna said that the Israeli government aims to completely empty the area of Palestinians as it is part of the annexation plan that is set to be put into action in the near future.
Al-Ka’abna noted that Israeli settlers, escorted by armed soldiers, have repeatedly brought bulldozers and leveled Palestinian lands surrounding Wadi al-Seiq.
Displacement and negligence
Ka’abna denounced the absence of solidarity and support for his community, especially from the Palestinian Authority government led by Mohammad Shtayyeh.
“People here are deeply worried, especially with the lack of support. We needed the Palestinian government to stand with us, and now we are left alone to face the Israeli occupation’s arbitrary measures,” he added.
One of the residents said, “Before Eid al-Fitr they handed me four home demolition notices. On the first day of Eid they came and seized irrigation hoses and drinking troughs I use for my sheep.”
He added, “Every time they destroy, we build again. We will never leave this place. We are deeply rooted here. We will not allow (Israeli) settlers to steal our place.”
The Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Center said that Wadi al-Seiq’s residents have been receiving displacement and demolition threats since 1996, under the pretext that they are living in a military zone, although the area is located outside the shooting range designated for training.
The center said that Israel’s Civil Administration in the past two years started to put more pressure on the residents of Wadi al-Seiq to dispirit them and push them to leave the area.
It pointed out that there is an unprecedented activity by the Civil Administration in the area, which coincides with the Israeli government’s ongoing preparations to annex vast tracts of Palestinian-owned land, mostly agricultural land, in the Jordan Valley.