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Thu, 30 May 1996 11:59:43 +0300
Date: Thu, 30 May 96 11:15:45 PDT
Subject: Jahalin Bedouin to be Evicted
(Jerusalem) This morning, the Israeli High Court of Justice approved the eviction of the 3000 member Jahalin Bedouin tribe, in order to clear the area for Jewish settlers. Leading the decision, the President of the High Court Aaron Barak, ruled that the Jahalin must leave within three months with a choice of relocating to a site near the Jerusalem garbage dump, or compensation (the amount not being specified). In the decision, the court completely ignored the destruction of crucial evidence in the case by the government.
The decision canceled the temporary injunction prohibiting expansion of the Maale Adumim settlement near the Jahalin tents. It is more than likely that tomorrow the settlement will begin its construction activity around the Jahalin tents in order to complete new apartments and villas for incoming settlers. Without any ban on construction near the tents, the heavy building activity effectively will evict the Jahalin even before the three month period expires.In a dissenting opinion, Justice Dorner held that the eviction order must be canceled. In criticizing the majority decision Dorner stated:
"An administrative authority that acts with fairness and reasonableness may not evict human beings who reside for years on land, without offering them an alternative fair site and even compensation. We are not talking about an act of mercy to be done outside of the law, but rather a legal obligation which provides an enforceable legal right. ...The authorities of this government are obligated to exercise their jurisdiction according to the basic acceptable principles in Israel, and at all times they are obligated to guarantee the reasonable well-being of the population in the occupied territories."
The Jahalin Bedouin have been residing in an area now surrounded by the expanding Jewish settlement of Maale Adumim for over 40 years. In May 1995, the Jahalin petitioned the High Court to cancel the eviction order against them, issued by the Israeli Civil Administration. The Jahalin obtained a temporary order barring their eviction until a final decision in the case. In August 1995, while the temporary order was still in effect and the petition outstanding, the Ministry of Housing sold the land on which the Jahalin were residing to several private building contractors who subsequently sold the rights to the property to Jewish settlers. In December 1995, the Jahalin obtained another temporary order barring the building and expansion of the settlement within 100 meter radius of the Jahalin tents, because the construction was endangering the Jahalin.
The Jahalin were represented by attorneys Lynda Brayer and Allegra Pacheco for the Society of St. Yves.