Following Israel’s declaration of independence in 1948, the Jahalin Bedouin, together with 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 tribes are traditionally semi-nomadic agro-pastoralists living in the rural areas around Hebron, Bethlehem, Jerusalem, Jericho and the Jordan Valley.
These areas are today part of the so-called “Area C” of the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), representing 60% of the West Bank. Under the 1995 Oslo Accords, Israel was granted temporary administrative and security control of Area C, which was due to be gradually returned to the Palestinian Authority by 1999., This never happened and today, 25 years after the Oslo Accords were signed, Israel retains near exclusive control of Area C, including over law enforcement, planning and construction. It is home to all West Bank Israeli settlements, industrial estates, military bases, firing ranges, nature reserves and settler-only by-pass roads, all under Israeli military control.