In this Bedouin town, murder wasn’t the only crime | Opinion


10-09-20 07:58:00,

The murder of Yakub Abu al-Kiyan was not the only crime committed by the State of Israel against his village, Umm al-Hiran, and it may not even be the worst. Of course, killing is killing. Abu al-Kiyan, a beloved math teacher and the first Bedouin Ph.D. in chemistry, was executed by incited policemen who were too quick on the trigger, who also let him bleed to death without giving him medical assistance that could have potentially saved him.

But anyone who thinks that wraps up Israel’s crimes against Umm al-Hiran is deluding himself. The hollow apology by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu doesn’t even begin the series of apologies that Israel owes the people of that village.

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The difficult images after the killing and destruction don’t fade: Raba al-Kiyan, a thin woman in black, wandering among the ruins of her house as she remains silent, her gaze fixed on the ground. Her nephew, a medical student in Moldova, explains that this is how she repeatedly recreates her last moments with her husband.

At the same time, in the nearby town of Hura, the second widow was mourning – Dr. Amal al-Kiyan. She had married Yakub after her husband died, as Bedouin tradition obligated her to marry his brother. By the age of 24, she was already lecturing at Kaye Academic College of Education in Be’er Sheva. When we paid a condolence call she had earned a doctorate in education from Ben-Gurion University.

The two widows and the entire village were in shock. A gas station attendant in Hura told us how much he had admired his math teacher at Yitzhak Rabin High School. Then-Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan – don’t ever forget this – and Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich and many others were competing for who could besmirch the teacher more.

Israeli policemen stand guard next to a vehicle that rammed into a group of policemen, killing one, in the Bedouin village of Umm al-Hiran in the Negev in southern Israel, Jan. 18, 2017.Israel Police officers next to the vehicle driven by Yakub Abu al-Kiyan in Umm al-Hiran on January 18, 2017. Tsafrir Abayov / AP

His brother-in-law said that Yakub had put his personal computer and other items into his jeep – the one ostensibly used in the “terror” ramming attack – to save them from the demolition of his home. That’s not how a terrorist leaves his home before an attack.

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A Palestinian Bedouin Village Braces for Forcible Transfer as Israel Seeks to Split the West Bank in Half

A Palestinian Bedouin Village Braces for Forcible Transfer as Israel Seeks to Split the West Bank in Half

13-08-18 09:15:00,

A picture shows the interior of a house at the Khan Al-Ahmar village on July 26, 2018

The interiors of homes in Khan al-Ahmar on July 26, 2018.

Photo: Samar Hazboun for The Intercept

On August 1, Israel’s Supreme Court confirmed an

earlier ruling authorizing the village’s razing

but temporarily delayed demolition, giving the Israeli government five days to come up with more suitable relocation plans than those it had previously offered — near a dump, and without any land the Bedouins could use to graze their animals.

A day after the deadline, on August 7, the government proposed moving Khan al-Ahmar residents to temporary tents before relocating them again to a new site south of Jericho along with other Bedouin communities facing demolition — but only on the condition that they would leave Khan al-Ahmar voluntarily. Israel forcibly removed other Jahalin Bedouin communities in the late 1990s, and while violent evictions of individual Palestinian families have continued since then, Israeli officials have tried to steer clear of large forcible transfers — an ugly spectacle, as well as a war crime.

In a statement, Tawfiq Jabareen, an attorney representing Khan al-Ahmar, rejected the proposal, which he said proved that “the plan of the state of Israel is to evacuate all Palestinian Bedouin and move them near Area A,” closer to areas under the Palestinian Authority, “in order to expand the Jewish settlements in places that will be emptied of Palestinians.” Khan al-Ahmar residents have made clear that they have no plans to leave their homes, making forcible eviction a likely outcome.

“The Bedouins are used to being in the sun, they have lived their whole life in the sun. If Israel demolishes their homes, they’ll stay here anyway,” Eid Abu Khamis, Khan al-Ahmar’s leader, told The Intercept. “If they put up a boundary — a meter away from it, this is where all the women and all the children of the community will stay.”

“If the children die from the heat, I didn’t demolish their homes, they did.”

A picture shows a the outside of a Palestinian Bedouin house at the Khan Al-Ahmar village on July 26, 2018

The outside of a Palestinian Bedouin house in Khan al-Ahmar on July 26, 2018.

Photo: Samar Hazboun for The Intercept

A Strategic Wedge

Israeli authorities routinely demolish homes built without permits — which are nearly impossible for Palestinians to obtain — and often use demolitions as collective punishment against the families of Palestinians who attempt attacks against Israelis.

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