The Bedouin Communities East of Jerusalem – A Planning Survey
Khan Al-Ahmar Communities
11. Bir Al-Maskub
Community: Jahalin Tribe – Bseis family
Population: 30 families, approx. 250 residents
Water: Connection to water from Wadi Sneysel, wells (mainly in winter)
Sewage: Private home cesspits
Education: Elementary school in Al-E’izariya, and middle school in Al-Jabal; high school in Al-E’izariya
Medical services: Al-E’izariya
Daily necessities: Al-E’izariya
Religious building: none
Flocks: approximately 2,300 heads of livestock
This residential area is northwest of Mishor Adumim, north of Road No. 1 to Jericho, within the jurisdictional realm of Ma’ale Adumim. The community arrived in the area after being deported at the beginning of the 1950s from the Tel Arad area and first moved to the Masafer Yatta area in the South Hebron Hills. Later, they moved to a hill on the other side and south of the road, across from their present place of residence. In 1998, the authorities destroyed the homes in their previous place of residence, and after they returned and rebuilt their houses, an interim order was issued enabling them to remain there temporarily, until they were evacuated in 1999. Some of the residents who were evacuated agreed to move to the new neighborhood in Al-Jabal, while others remained in the area, moving to the hill north of the road to join the already extant cluster in Bir Al-Maskoob. Today, some of the families living in Bir Al-Maskoob belong officially to the Al-Jabal neighborhood. These are families with large flocks, that are unable to maintain them in the new neighborhood, or families with many children, too large for the housing available at Al-Jabal. The lands there are part of the territory expropriated in 1975 for the establishment of Ma’ale Adumim, but in the view of the residents, these are private lands of Al-I’sawiyya, on which they are living with the agreement of the original landowners.
The flocks serve for the manufacture of milk products for domestic use, as well as commercial purposes that today are limited mainly to nearby localities, since the trip to Jerusalem is no longer possible. Residents have been prohibited from cultivating the land for agriculture, but adjacent to the houses one finds very small gardens for individual use.
Roads to the locality are poor and make access difficult. While there is public transportation that passes along the nearby main road, bus drivers are instructed not to stop for passengers in this area. School pupils in the locality, some 35 in total, attend school in Al-Jabal and Al-E’izariya via a private transportation arrangement, funded by the residents.
Main planning constraints:
– Included within the limits of the development and expansion plans for Ma’ale Adumim
– Expropriated lands without an accepted arrangement regarding ownership and usage rights
– Limitations on grazing lands and access to water sources