© 2017 Barbara Davidson  

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WEST BANK BEDOUIN

The Jahalin Bedouins are a Palestinian tribe who live in the Judean Desert of the West Bank. They are originally from inside Israel proper, but fled into the West Bank as refugees in the years after Israel's establishment. Some 6,000 live in the hills in view of a string of Israeli settlements that the government wants to expand. Their herding runs up against the military zones declared by the Israeli army, which has said it will eventually move the Bedouin out to cities nearby. Demolitions have more than doubled in 2016. But, international diplomats are watching this area very closely because of its strategic importance: continued Israeli development there would block the continuity of Palestinian cities in northern and southern West Bank. One human rights advocate said: "I would say the Jahalin are the guardian of the two state solution."