UN Special Rapporteur Falk’s Statement on Bedouin Displacement (ICAHD, 29 November 2011)

On the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory, Prof. Richard Falk, called urgent attention to the plight of the Palestinian Bedouin of the occupied West Bank. “The recent unprecedented pressure by Israeli authorities and settlers to expel Palestinian Bedouin communities from Area C is deplorable, illegal and must cease.The proposed relocation of the Palestinian Bedouins, without the free and informed consent of the communities, amounts to forced transfer of protected persons under international humanitarian law.” Prof. Falk added “The proposed transfer of Bedouin communities raises a number of concerns under human rights law, especially with respect to forced eviction and forced displacement.”

ICAHD Co-Director Itay Epshtain and ICAHD UK Director Linda Ramsden met with the Special Rapporteur staff in Geneva earlier this month, to ask of the Rapporteur to convey his grave concern of imminent displacement, and deliver the recent publication ‘Nowhere Left to Go: Arab al-Jahalin Bedouin Ethnic Displacement.’

To download the publication highlighting the growing risk of displacement for Jerusalem periphery Bedouin, press here… 

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The Palestinian-Bedouin communities living in the hills to the east of Jerusalem are at an exceedingly growing risk of forced ethnic displacement. The communities have been informed by the Israeli authorities that they have no option but to leave the area, as part of a larger plan (to begin as early as January 2012) to relocate Bedouin communities living in Area C (Jerusalem periphery, Jordan Valley, and south Hebron Hills), where Israel retains control over security as well as planning and zoning.


The Bedouin homes are currently located in an area that holds strategic significance for further expansion of illegal Israeli settlements. This includes the E1 plan, which foresees the expansion of Ma’ale Adumim, an illegal Israeli settlement, and its linkage to Judaized East Jerusalem and Jordan Valley settlements. If implemented, these plans, along with Barrier construction in the area, risk preventing Palestinian growth and development and disrupting the territorial contiguity of a future Palestinian state. The forced displacement of the Bedouin would also be detrimental to their semi-nomadic way of life. As available land shrinks, Bedouin refugees are faced with nowhere to go.


Meanwhile, the Arab al-Jahalin Bedouin are seeking ways to improve their general living conditions. Communities living in the area have appealed to local and international organizations to support projects that will contribute to improving their conditions, projects designed help the Bedouin to build sustainable livelihoods and resist forced ethnic displacement and the Israeli Occupation.


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