Life for the Bedouin in Ma’ale Adumin: From the Human Rights Watch Report
According to Sareed Makidsi, Israeli architect Thomas Leitersdorf planned the settlement of Ma’ale Adumin (where Mishor Adumin Industrial Park is located) in the 1970s with the goal to “capture ground”. You capture as much ground as possible by placing few people on numerous hills,” he explains.
“The underlying political idea was the further inside the Occupied Territories we placed settlements the more territory Israel would have when the time came to set permanent international borders because we were already there”.
The colony of Maale Adumin today serves to sever the northern from the southern West Bank. Rabin and Peres both had an active role in developing the colony of Ma’ale Adumin.
SodaStream profits support the Israeli economy, not that of the Palestinians, and the Ma’ale Adumin settlement is strengthened by the SodaStream factory’s tax contributions to road construction and municipal employee salaries. SodaStream is located in Mishor Adumin Industrial Park, in Ma’ale Adumin.
Located in area C. Israeli policies have made life so difficult for Palestinians that many have had to abandon their homes and livelihoods and relocate. In Murassa, a Jahalin community near Ma’ale Adumin, residents have told Human Rights Watch that before Ma’ale Adumin was constructed there were 14 water wells in the area. Now, grazing has become very difficult and a combination of restrictions on building and movement has forced the Bedouin to leave the area.
“The land we use to graze is now too close to the settlement, so they tell us for security reasons we can’t go there. Many people had to sell their sheep and some people moved out to Nablus or Jenin.”
There are many examples of inequality in the settlement. For example, the Israeli government provides medical clinic in Ma’ale Adumin for settlers and has invested in roads so that settlers can access hospitals in Jerusalem.
In contrast, the Human Rights Watch report states, the Jahalin Bedouin are prohibited from building health clinics in their communities and must go to clinics elsewhere as any clinic in the settlement is off limits to them.
Ma’ale Adumin even has an excellent shopping mall and excellent health services for settlers. The settlement also has 14 schools funded by Israel’s Ministry of Education.
Life for the Bedouin couldn’t be more different. The Jahalin community known as Wadi Abu Hindi is not accessible from the main road, the road is also very rough and the only community vehicle is a van used to bring teachers from the main road to the small local school. Living conditions for the Jahalin Bedouin living around Ma’ale Adumin are extremely harsh. There is a lack of electricity and running water, as well as limited access to essential services. Many people originally from Area C were from herder communities, they lack essential food, potable water, basic shelter, rates of stunting in the communities are also shocking, as 15.3% of the population is underweight.