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Arab al-Jahalin

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Title: Arab al-Jahalin  
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Subject: Jerusalem Governorate
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Arab al-Jahalin

'Arab al-Jahalin
Other transcription(s)
 • Arabic عرب الجهالّين
 • Also spelled 'Arab al-Jahaleen (official)
al-Jabal (unofficial)
'Arab al-Jahalin
'Arab al-Jahalin
Location of 'Arab al-Jahalin within the Palestinian territories

Coordinates: 31°45′50.64″N 35°16′51.44″E / 31.7640667°N 35.2809556°E / 31.7640667; 35.2809556Coordinates: 31°45′50.64″N 35°16′51.44″E / 31.7640667°N 35.2809556°E / 31.7640667; 35.2809556

Governorate Jerusalem
Founded 1998
 • Type Village Council
Population (2006)
 • Jurisdiction 1,205
Name meaning "the Jahalin Arabs"

'Arab al-Jahalin also known as al-Jabal (Arabic: عرب الجهالّين‎) is a Palestinian Bedouin village in the Jerusalem Governorate, located five kilometers southeast of Jerusalem in the West Bank. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS), 'Arab al-Jahalin had a population of approximately 1,205 inhabitants in mid-year 2006.[1] The village is situated on a hillside outside of al-Eizariya and 300 meters away from the Jerusalem Municipal dump. It is located in Area C of the West Bank — giving Israel full control over the village, however the populace hold Palestinian IDs.[2]

'Arab al-Jahalin contains a mosque, a seven-class school and a 12-class school. The village is linked to the East Jerusalem electricity system and has running water.[2] As-Sawahira ash Sharqiya shares the facilities, particularly schools and health amenities with the villages of 'Arab al-Jahalin, Jabal Mukaber and ash-Sheikh Sa'd. The healthcare facilities for as-Sawahira ash Sharqiya are designated as Ministry of Health level 2.[3] All residents of the 'Arab al-Jahalin are considered refugees and have UNRWA refugee papers.[2]


The 'Arab al-Jahalin tribe were originally based around Tel Arad in the northern Negev, but were entirely evicted from the area in the early 1950s by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). Prior to Israel's victory in the 1967 Six-Day War, they were traveling and herding their livestock between Ramallah, Wadi Qelt and Jerusalem, maintaining the traditional Bedouin lifestyle. In particular, the 'Arab al-Jahalin bred sheep. After the war, the IDF confiscated most of the al-Jahalin lands and as a result, tribe members settled in area beside the Israeli settlement of Ma'ale Adumim outside Jerusalem.[2]

In July 1994, the IDF issued an eviction order, which provoked tribe members to appeal to the Supreme Court of Israel which rejected their appeal.[2] Throughout the 1990s there were 100-120 military or court orders for the eviction of al-Jahalin Bedouin.[4] The mass eviction occurred in 1996 when all 4,000 members of 'Arab al-Jahalin tribe were evicted from their encampments.[5] However, in 1998, another appeal resulted in a deal between the Israeli Civil Administration and representatives of 35 al-Jahalin families (about 200 individuals) who were permitted to "lease state lands" that originally belonged to the Palestinian town of Abu Dis.[2] Thus, the village of 'Arab al-Jahalin was founded.

In 2012, plans to relocate the tribe adjacent to the Abu Dis garbage dump were dropped and the Civil Administration will select a different site.[6] This plan has since been revived.[7] A documentary film about the current status of the Jahalin was released in April 2012.[8]

See also


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