Urgent: Save Umm al-Hiran from demolition

In the northern Negev (the English name for the arabic Naqab desert) on the other side of the Israeli apartheid wall is the Bedouin village of Umm al-Hiran which faces imminent demolition to make way for a planned new village for Jewish Israelis only. 

The Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu was reported to be sending his army’s bulldozers in at dawn on Tuesday 22nd November to demolish this peaceful Bedouin village in Israel.

This demolition has been delayed for two years due to international protests at this extreme case of ethnic cleansing, but has now given the go-ahead for the village to be razed, destroying the homes and livelihoods of many families.

The 700 residents of the village have lived there for almost 60 years and have a lease to build a village, farm the land and graze their sheep.

The village have said that they are happy to live as neighbours with the Jewish settlers, but do not see why they should be evicted, pointing out that there are 3¼ million acres in the Negev, and that there is plenty of land for the new town to be built on instead of their one small acre of land.

The Israeli state has made it clear that the new village is for Jewish residents only and the Bedouin must move out.

We need international protest on a sufficient scale, especially protests from European governments.

The UK Government has expressed “concern” over the threat to Umm al-Hiran. This is not enough.

Only stronger international protests will help stop the demolition of Umm al-Hiran.