The High Court of Justice on Monday rejected a petition by 70 Jahalin Beduin families to remain on land that is part of the Ma’aleh Adumim settlement, according to the non-governmental group Regavim.

It issued a statement after a court hearing Monday. According to the court, a ruling was made in the case, but it has not yet been published.

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The State wants to relocate the herding families that live in temporary illegal structures to the nearby village of Abu Dis, just outside of Jerusalem.

It has provided the Beduin with free property lots on which they can construct permanent homes. Roads have already been built and infrastructure has already been laid for those homes.

The Beduin families want to remain where they are, because it would be difficult for them to continue to raise sheep from the new property in Abu Dis. They would prefer to build permanent homes in what is known as Area G of Ma’aleh Adumim.

In its response to the High Court of Justice submitted on January 25, the state explained that it would be impossible to authorize the Jahalin Beduin community where it is now located because the area is zoned for Ma’aleh Adumim.

The property does not belong to the Beduin, and it is close to the planned route of the security barrier, should it be constructed in that area.

The judges rejected a claim by the Beduin that the land was in Area B of the West Bank, which is under the control of the Palestinian Authority.

They ruled that the property is Area C and that it would be impossible for the Beduin to legally construct homes there.

Supreme Court President Miriam Maor said, “We investigated the matter and it is clear that nothing will be built there.”

The state told the court that the Beduin wanted to relocate to improve their living conditions, but that the Palestinian Authority and others, including anarchists, had prevented them from doing so.

A spokesman for Regavim said, “The Palestinian Authority is more concerned with its strategic hold on the area than with the welfare of the Beduin.”

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