• Ramallah

  • Monday, January 15, 2024 at 4:53 AM
    Last Update : Thursday, January 18, 2024 at 5:34 AM

Israeli Settlers Displace Bedouin Communities in West Bank

(AWP) - Nearly three months have passed since the local residents of Wadi As Seeq were forced out of their community east of the West Bank city of Ramallah, in what Palestinian Bedouins have deemed “violent displacement” carried out by settlers with guns, under the protection of the Israeli army forces.

Ever since, the community residents have lived on lands belonging to nearby villages, only a few kilometers away from their original homes.

Mouayad Shaaban, Chairman of the Colonization AND Wall Resistance Commission (CWRC), described the practices by Israeli settlers in the aftermath of the Israeli war on the Gaza Strip as ‘terrorist.’

“Terrorism by the colonialists has caused the displacement of 25 Palestinian Bedouin communities, some of which were driven out after the war in Gaza in the terrorist style adopted by the colonialists, a dirty task they receive from the official level of the occupation state” said Shaaban in a press conference.

“These communities are composed of 266 families that include 1,517 individuals, who were forced to relocate from their residential areas to other places, mostly east of Ramallah in the Eastern Hills and the Jordan Valley,” he added.

Members of the Bedouin communities said that the settlers, in front of the whole world, are carrying out forced displacement and ethnic cleansing operations in several areas all over the West Bank.

They added that settlers are leading organized attacks on citizens and their property, including murder, arson of houses and farmlands, seizure of agricultural equipment and vehicles, and hurling stones and bottles at Palestinian cars on the roads and main streets from northern to southern West Bank, under the support and protection of the Israeli army.

Abdel-Rahman Kaabneh, a resident of Wadi As Seeq community and a representative of the Bedouins there, said that everything has changed after October 7.

“Israeli settlers who used to be shepherds are today clad in army uniforms, and drive security vehicles with emergency lights. They are armed and masked,” he said.

“The problems are no longer in the grasslands or plantations. They raid us inside our own houses. This is what happened when they stormed their way after the war into our houses, and beat Al-Hadj Abu Nayef and his children inside their home without any apparent reason,” noted Kaabneh.

Members of local Palestinian Bedouin communities said that the displacement was preceded by certain developments--in early 2023, the settlers set up a grazing outpost near the community.

Since the outpost’s establishment, the settlers began measures aimed at driving out the residents, including attacks on the shepherds and seizure of the natural resources like the land and water upon which the shepherds rely.

“The big attack took place on October 12, at 12:00 p.m. We came under all-out assault by settlers, some clad in civvies and others wearing military uniforms. They are known to be the Hilltop Youth unit, national security personnel, the Haganah and the Israeli regular army," explained Kaabneh.

“The Israeli police were present on the site, only 20 meters away, just watching. A comprehensive attack took place. Wadi As Seeq is composed of three alleys, with a distance of 100 meters in between them. The offensive targeted the three alleys. They started beating people, and then opened fire at them. They tied the young people’s hands and assaulted the women and children,” he added.