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Cases Developement
18 October 2006 Would they have it so bad in Rahat?

By Aryeh Dayan, Haaretzhttp://www.haaretz.com/hasen/pages/ShArt.jhtml?itemNo=

776105&contrassID=2&subContrassID=5&sbSubContrassID=0`The area where you live is known as a military area thatwas acquired by the state in 1980 and is earmarked for theconstruction of a military base.`According to the story passed from generation togeneration in the Bedouin village of Al-Sira, the villagewas founded during the Ottoman period following a conflictin the early 20th century among the families of the tribe,al-Nasasra and al-Amour, and the neighboring al-Hassouniclan. The argument revolved around several hundred dunamsthat the al-Nasasra and al-Amour families had purchasedsoutheast of Be`er Sheva. The sheikhs of the two tribeswent all the way to Jerusalem to ask the Ottoman court todecide. The court ruled in their favor, and the lands ofAl-Sira were registered in their names in the Turkish landregistry.`Our families have been living peacefully in this villagefor almost 100 years, without bothering anyone and withoutanyone bothering them,` says Halil al-Amour, a member ofthe village residents` committee and a teacher ofmathematics and computers in the high school in Keseifa,the adjacent town.The lands of Al-Sira, which over 100 years ago lay in themiddle of the desert, are today located in a bustlingregion: they border on the north with the highwayconnecting Arad with the Shoket junction, on the southwith the Israel Air Force base in Nevatim, and on the eastwith the road connecting the base and the highway.Only few of the Bedouin tribes who lived for years in theregion have survived the changes in government as theyhave, without having to leave their lands. The British,who arrived a few years after that legal proceeding inJerusalem, honored their ownership of the land and evenbuilt a clinic, a school and a flour mill for them innearby Tel Malhata. The Israeli government, which replacedthe British 30 years later, did the same.The residents of Al-Sira received citizenship in the newstate and were allowed to remain on their land. Thevillage did not receive official recognition (andtherefore has yet to be linked up to the electricity andtelephone grids) but its residents remained in place. Theclinic, the school and the flour mill continued tooperate, now under Israeli administration.The residents of Al-Sira stayed put even in the early1980s, when the evacuation of Sinai in the context of thepeace treaty with Eg

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