For anyone who knows the area, Khan al Ahmar area is more of a trademark to those who go to Jericho or need to use the path to the south towards the dead sea or the north towards Tiberias.
The Bedouin community in that area has been historically residing there. My memories as a child and as an adult continue to see the tents, the tanks, the yards, and the sheep, donkeys and often camels wondering there.
I remember the excitement I the child in me when we passed through the road to see a flock of sheep or a camel in the horizon of the cliff. I continued this habit of excitement as I became a mother, with me the only excited person to see a flock of animals at the seams of the scene.
As Bedouins and their living styles may not be the most appealing image to urban people. They are by all means a natural part of the collective blend of the Palestinian society.
For the last, Bedouin almost two decades the communities in the Khan al Ahmar bedouin families struggled to survive in front a not stoppable attempt to transfer them. While roads and settlements were enslaving their peaceful living for so many decades, they managed to survive.. hardly, with the support of the international community and the locals who continued to support them with minimal aids. Not as a result of the shortage in money or resources, but because of the obstacles and restraints the Israeli government put on them.
In the dreamy time of Oslo, this nightmare was supposed to be handed to Palestinians, something that naturally falls in the 22 percent of future Palestine they agreed upon leaving to us. …well today we are aiming for 2 percent of sovereignty around the Muqata’a in Ramallah.
It is easy to convince the world that some chunks of metal for bedouins are better replaced with traditional buildings somewhere else..after all, they are Bedouin. However, the reality is entirely different. It is about identity, a way of living. Being a Bedouin means being exposed to space. The offers are boxes in comparison to how these people are used to live. It is a way to suffocate them and hence, another way in ethnic cleansing a nation with its different layers.
The EU, the Italians, the French, the Spanish and a long list of countries were involved in saving the Khan al Ahmar along the last decades. Maneuvering sometimes, and playing around other times, and trying to knock on the walls of the system many other times with Palestinians. Building a school for the five communities that live there, continued to be a struggle, in a place where no permits are allowed, and ring roads and settlements and checkpoints are surrounding them and blocking access tot he closest school in the area. The children have to walk around ten kilometers a day to go back and forth to the school at the entrance of Jericho.
A final demolition order to the village was released amid the mess in the surrounding, Ramallah is busy waiting for a new president, and new blocks of negotiations are taking place int he lounges of hotels and offices. Gaza is busy collecting wounded and deceased people while starving to death from lack of resources and brutal blockade. Jerusalem is swinging between Judaization and Israelization, and Kushner is spinning in the area while Trump is blocking the border in his district.
Why would the world feel sympathy for a Palestinian child beaten brutally or watching his parents lynched and prisoned or shot , when children on the borders of the immigration to States are facing the same treatment … in one way or another.. after all Israel has the right to defend itself from Palestinian children and families who are by nature terrorists!.
The struggle in Khan al Ahmar was halted for a week. An achievement amid the brutality of demolitions. A break the Israeli government is making to allow demonstrators and media with their cameras to turn their backs.
A struggle that will not end as long as the opponent is an occupation that has one mission in mind… ethnic cleansing.