The escalating violence and illegal land takeovers by Israeli settlers have resulted in the displacement of almost 500 Palestinians from seven communities in the past 20 months. This distressing trend continues, with twelve families from the Ras At-Tin Bedouin community, located northeast of Ramallah, forced to flee their homes this week.
The situation has raised concerns among humanitarian organizations, with the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) condemning the displacement.
Ana Povrzenic, NRC’s country director for Palestine, stated, “There are entire Palestinian communities being wiped off the map, a shameful legacy of unrelenting violence, intimidation and harassment perpetuated by Israeli settlers and, in some cases, encouraged by Israeli authorities.”
The aggressive establishment of settlement outposts and the annexation of Palestinian land are constricting Palestinian communities, wreaking havoc on their livelihoods and jeopardizing their lives. Faced with such dire circumstances, Palestinians have been left with no option but to abandon their homes, schools, and jobs.
The most recent occurrence involved a dozen families, totaling 89 Palestinians, including 39 children, who were forcefully displaced from Ras At-Tin. The increase in settler harassment and intimidation prompted their departure. Settlers also took over the community's grazing lands and set up a vineyard adjacent to an Israeli military base. Israeli forces blocked Ras At-Tin residents from accessing their own lands.
The threat of forcible transfer looms over approximately 60 Palestinian communities in the occupied West Bank due to the combined factors of Israeli settler and soldier violence, expansion of settlements, and Israel's deeply discriminatory policies and practices, including its unlawful planning and zoning regulations.
Ana Povrzenic emphasized the need for international accountability in addressing this issue. She warned, “Without holding Israel accountable, more and more Palestinian communities will be forcibly transferred. How many more Ras At-Tins must there be before the international community acts?”