From the very outset of Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, it instituted a planning, development and construction policy whereby construction by Palestinians was restricted while Israeli settlements were allocated very extensive areas for establishment and expansion. Israel thereby created a situation in which thousands of Palestinians are forced – as the only recourse for housing their families – to build unlicensed homes. This remains the policy in Area C, the area still under full Israeli control, which comprises approximately 60% of the West Bank.
Israel's Civil Administration is planning to relocate some 27,000 Bedouins living in Area C in the West Bank. At first, some 2,300 people will be expelled from their homes near the Ma'ale Adummim settlement and relocated to a site next to the Abu Dis garbage dump, east of Jerusalem. Members of the Khan al-Ahmar community explain how the move will affect them.