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Israel to expel Palestinian villagers in April, makes way for new Jewish town

Image of the Bedouin village of Umm Al-Hiran [file photo]
Bedouin village of Umm Al-Hiran [File photo]

Israeli authorities will expel the residents of Umm Al-Hiran, a Bedouin Palestinian village in the Negev, in a matter of weeks, as plans proceed to build a new Jewish town in its place.

Yair Maayan, head of the government authority for Bedouin “resettlement” in the Negev, told the Jerusalem Post that Umm Al-Hiran’s residents – all Israeli citizens – will be forced out in April.

“The Israel Lands Authority has issued eviction notices”, Maayan said yesterday, adding that the plan was to force the villagers to live in Hura, a government-approved Bedouin town.

Umm Al-Hiran is to be demolished in order for a new town, Hiran, to be built in its place, “which is to be populated mostly by religious Jews”. The Israeli state plan has been backed by the Supreme Court.

Read: For Israel displacing Bedouins is financially rewarding

The Bedouin Palestinian residents of Umm al-Hiran are facing their third expulsion, having been expelled from their lands in 1948 and again in 1956.

Local activist Raed Abu al-Kaeean told the Jerusalem Post “that police have informed residents that they must leave by April 1 ‘or be evicted by force’”. He added that police have been visiting the village to plan “how to make the incursion and to destroy the village”.

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