World Organization Against Torture

Appeal for Jahalin

The International Secretariat of OMCT/SOS-Torture requests your URGENT intervention in the following situation in Israel.

Brief description of the situation:

The International Secretariat has been informed by various reliable sources, including LAWE and the Habitat International Coalition of the eviction and relocation of six families of the Jahalin Bedouin tribe on the 27 January 1997, living near the Jewish settlement on of Ma'aleh Adumim. The settlement of Ma'aleh Adumim is located on occupied territory. During the eviction, carried out by the Israeli army, ten Bedouin people, were beaten and wounded and all taken to hospital.

The Israeli army and police officials moved in against the families at 9:30 a.m., removed their belongings, bulldozed their encampments, and relocated the six families, comprised of 29 people, to the unsanitary "alternative site" located on confiscated land owned by residents of the nearby Arab village of Ayariya. The Jahalin moved to the spot near Ma'aleh Adumim after being expelled in 1950 from the Negev. The recent eviction is making way for the expansion of the Jewish settlers.

The alternative living site, located 500 meters from the Jerusalem municipality garbage dump, is declared unfit for human habitation by Israel environmentalists. The provided housing is comprised of the same type of shipping containers used to ship cargo overseas. One small pipe provides water for the entire camp and there are no electrical services. Furthermore, the one-half dunam (about one-eight of an acre) allocated to each family does not allow sufficient space for livestock; their principle means of livelihood.

The forty families of the Jahalin Bedouin Tribe, about 380 people who remain on the site are in danger of future violent eviction.

This action is by no means exceptional practice, the gravity of the situation, including the use of violence, motivated the Chairman of the Committee on Economic Social and Cultural Rights of the UN, at its last meeting in November 1996, based on information the Palestine housing rights movement and HIC (Habitat International Coalition) to dispatch a strongly worded letter requesting information on the violations in the area.

OMCT expresses its grave concern for the physical and psychological integrity of the six evicted families and the remaining forty families of the Jahalin Bedouin Tribe who are in danger of future forced eviction.

Action requested: Please write to the Israeli authorities demanding that they:

i. guarantee the physical and psychological integrity of the evicted six Jahalin Bedouin families and the forty families who remain on the original site;

ii. guarantee an exhaustive and impartial inquiry into the events, find those responsible, bring them to trial, and apply appropriate sanctions as provided by law;

iii. take all necessary measures to conform with the obligations established by international standards in particular the covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights and the Covenant on Social and Political Rights;

iv. guarantee at all times respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms according to national law and international standards.


Addresses:

Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu, Office of the Prime Minister, 3 Kaplan Street, Jerusalem 91919, State of Israel. Telex : 25279 mpres il. Fax : + 972 2 66 48 38 or + 972 3 69 17 915

Minister of Justice, Ministry of Justice, 29 Salah al-Din Street, Jerusalem 91029, State of Israel. Fax : + 972 2 285 438


Kindly inform us of any undertaken action quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.

Ben Schonveld Projects Manager OMCT-SOS-Torture Fax 4122 733 1051 Ph 4122 733 3140 OMCT is: l'Organisation Mondiale contre la Torture The World Organization Against Torture