Indigenous peoples in Palestine

Following Israel’s declaration of independence in 1948, clans from the Jahalin Bedouin together with clans from four other tribes from the Negev Desert (al-Kaabneh, al-Azazmeh, al-Ramadin, and al-Rshaida) took refuge in the West Bank, then under Jordanian rule.

These refugee tribes, who number approximately 17,000 people, are semi-nomadic agro-pastoralists living in the rural areas around Hebron, Bethlehem, Jerusalem, Jericho and the Jordan Valley, today part of the so-called “Area C” of the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT).

“Area C”, the administration of which was provisionally - and temporarily - granted to Israel in 1995 by the Oslo Accords, represents 60% of the West Bank. It is home to all West Bank Israeli settlements, industrial estates, military bases, firing ranges, closed military zones, nature reserves or settler-only by-pass roads, all under Israeli military control, and all of which surround and control Palestinian areas.

Yearly update

Download the 2015 yearbook article on indigenous peoples in Palestine to learn about major developments and events during 2014.

Read the 2012 yearbook article on indigenous peoples in Palestine to learn about major developments and events during 2011 (internal link)