PA expelling Bedouin families to build vacation village near Jericho

The PA has expelled Bedouin residents from the Jericho/Jordan Valley area in order to build an upscale tourist attraction and block the expansion of Israeli settlements.

By World Israel News Staff

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has consistently taken the side of the Bedouin residents of Khan al-Ahmar, an illegal community of approximately 130 families, located near Ma’ale Adumim.

The PA leader has accused Israel of expelling the Bedouin from their lands. In 2018, for example, he called for “popular resistance” against Israel.

“Everyone, officials and the public, should be going to Khan al-Ahmar. Our goal now must be to stay there and not allow them [the Israelis] to set up their project, because we know that they will tear apart the West Bank if they take over that area,” he stated.

“This is a critical issue that we must keep in mind,” he said, stressing the need to block the expansion of Israeli settlements in Judea and Samaria, according to the official Palestinian WAFA news agency.

However, despite the PA’s claims that Israel is expelling the Bedouins in Khan al-Ahmar, it appears that it’s the PA that is throwing these tribes out of their homes.

Indeed, the PA has expelled the Bedouin tribes from the Jericho area in favor of establishing an upscale vacation village, Tazpit Press Service (TPS) reported Tuesday evening.

In October, Abbas inaugurated the development of the sophisticated “Moon City” project in the Jericho area..

Dr. Muhammad Mustafa, chairman of the Board of Directors of the Palestine Investment Fund, which launched the project, said the area will be transformed into an “investment attraction,” with sophisticated infrastructure, tourist and recreational facilities and an investment of $500 million, WAFA reported at the time.

According to the current TPS report, the Bedouin in the area are now grumbling about having been used as political pawns by the PA.

Now that Israel has refrained from evacuating Khan al-Ahmar, “the PA changed its attitude towards” the Bedouin families and has  expelled them from Jericho “to make way for the establishment of Moon City, which is being built in huge sums and will be the largest tourism venture in the region,” TPS reported.

But Moon City is not merely a tourism venture,” the article explains.

“The construction of the city will strengthen the Palestinian residents in the Jordan Valley area,” said Muhammad Mustafa, head of the Palestinian Investment Fund that finances the establishment, as quoted by TPS.

“The development of the Jordan Valley is one of our main goals, as it is a disputed Palestinian area and we are working to increase the Palestinian population in the area and protect the area from Israeli occupation and prevent the expansion of Israeli settlements,” Mustafa said.