The Bedouin are resolute to stay on their land and maintain their culture—resisting the proposed relocation plan of 2,300 Arab Jahalin Bedouins from the Jerusalem periphery to a site next to the Abu Dis Municipal garbage dump. 

Around 2,300 Bedouin reside in 20 communities in the hills to the east of Jerusalem- part of a cluster of Bedouin communities living in or near the E1 corridor slated for expansion. They live under the regular threat of demolition of homes, schools and animal shelters due to the inability to obtain Israeli building permits. They experience routine settler violence and the loss of both livelihood and tribal cohesion and erosion of traditional lifestyles. 

Education is a struggle, for years their children would have to cross a busy highway, and walk or hitchhike the 22-km journey to Jericho to get to the nearest school. A primary school was built out of discarded tires, hay and mud in the community’s yard, prompting Israeli demolition orders against the school. This October, Israel’s High Court of Justice ruled against its destruction, but the community as a whole still faces forced displacement by the Israeli army. 

In addition to threatening the existence of the Bedouin way of life, the E1 expansion plan isolates Arab east Jerusalem and cuts the West Bank in two—making a future contiguous Palestinian state virtually impossible. Israel maintains it is essential for the natural growth and of strategic importance to connect these settlements to Jerusalem.

Romanticized in films like “Lawrence of Arabia” the resilience of the Bedouin is renowned. Yet today the Bedu of the West Bank no longer live in tents of camel hair but shanty shacks. This is because of policies that diminish their access to pastures and the very nature of their nomadic life. 
Somewhere between the stereotypes of the past and the political struggles of the present exists a lively community balancing tradition with a satiric humor. Between fears of settler attacks and housing demolitions are families glued to Turkish soap operas on satellite dishes connected to generators interrupted by their goats. 

Utilizing whatever they can get their hands on, the famed nomadic people are building and resisting–doing what the Bedouin have always done–survive
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