Israeli Environmental Organizations Support the Settlements with Solar Energy, but Fail to Condemn the Brutal Practices of the Occupation Against the Right of Palestinian Bedouins to Use the Same Energy
By George Kurzom
the Jahaleen clan
Environment and Development Horizons’ Magazine visited the 200 members from the Jahaleen clan that inhabit in the Alkhan Alahmar area outside the settlement of Kfar Addumim in Jerusalem. The clan resides on
their property in makeshift structures of tents and shacks. The clan has been wrangled with the Israeli Civil Administration over their legal right to live and stay on their territory. Their livelihood is dependent on their livestock and need the areas for grazing. The clans have inhabited this area for generations. They have no electricity or running water. Despite the fact they live within access of the electric grid and the Mekorot water systems that are supplying the Israeli settlements.
After the designation of the settlement and its construction, their territory was declared state property and their presence on the land has been declared illegal. The families have nowhere else to live that is theirs and that suits their lifestyle. The Israeli authorities will not allow them settle or construct any type of structure in the area. The administration has issued tens of military orders to demolish their makeshift homes. Charitable organizations donated 25 solar panels to the clan to produce electricity. The civil administration subsequently confiscated the solar panels declaring them illegal structures. The Jahaleen have managed to hide some of the solar panels from confiscation by the authorities. They are now in an undisclosed location for later use.
The Jahaleen have resorted to diesel generators for their electricity. The generators are noisy, produce smoke and damage the delicate environment. Water is transported and stored by unconventional means from far distances and hidden so as not to alert authorities.
The irony is that the Bedouin clans were overlooked by Israeli environmental agencies that service the same areas. The agencies install and facilitate solar energy to the settlements. Numerous Israeli environmental agencies have invested great efforts in the last few years to mainstream and develop the use of solar energy inside of the occupied territory of 1948 especially amongst the Bedouin living in the Negev desert. These same organizations disregarded the Bedouin clans throughout the West Bank. The double standards of the Israeli authorities and their environmental organizations has made the Bedouins resort to methods that are not safe to the environment. The objective is to make the settlements more affordable and not the safety or care for the environment.
Translated by: Kefah Abukhdeir