Umm Al-Hiran Won’t Stand Alone! CPI Calls for Mass Popular Actions

The Communist Party of Israel (CPI) and the Democratic Front for Peace and Equality (Hadash) have issued a statement in which they assure that the Arab-Bedouin village of Umm Al-Hiran in the Negev will not stand alone in its struggle to resist being uprooted by the far right Israeli government.

Leading CPI activist, MK Aida Touma-Sliman (Joint List - Hadash) sits among the ruins of one of the homes destroyed in Umm Al-Hiran, last Wednesday, January 18.

Leading CPI activist, MK Aida Touma-Sliman (Joint List – Hadash) sits among the ruins of one of the homes destroyed in Umm Al-Hiran, last Wednesday, January 18. (Photo: Zo Haderech weekly)

In their statement, the CPI and Hadash declare: “The aggressive violence of the Police on early Wednesday morning [January 18] attests to the criminal intent which resulted in the shooting death of Yacoub Mousa Abu al-Qee’an, a resident of Umm Al-Hiran, as well as injuries to tens of others, including Member of the Knesset Ayman Odeh who was scathed in the head by a ‘sponge bullet.’ The CPI and Hadash call upon their cadres to launch a series of militant actions to protest these criminal actions, while working in conjunction with all patriotic political and popular movements to broaden the struggle.”

The CPI and Hadash contend that “a clear and unequivocal message must be sent to Netanyahu and his ruling gang, that these plans will not pass – they will fail to isolate the Palestinian citizens of Israel in today’s new international environment with the entrance into the White House of Donald Trump, who is promising Israel and the Occupation Industry more support and funding. For years we have known how to stand strong against all policies aimed at wiping out our existence, and have been heroic in our resistance, perseverance, and steadfastness; in this sense, there will be no backtracking. The Negev/Naqab has been targeted for years, and it is obvious that under this government the uprooting of the unrecognized villages and the house demolitions of “unauthorized building” (as the state calls it) will become more brutal and vicious – and today Umm Al-Hiran is undergoing a second Nakba after its displacement in 1956 to its current location. What unmistakably evinces the perpetual discrimination by the state of Israel against its Arab-Palestinian citizens is that the openly declared purpose of demolishing Umm Al-Hiran is to establish a new Jewish town to be called ‘Hiran’ on its very ruins.”

The CPI and Hadash maintain that “the crime responsible for the dangerous and brutal bloodshed in Umm Al-Hiram reveals the true face of the current government. We call upon all democratic forces among the Israeli public to understand that this government’s brutality will not stop at the Palestinian Arab’s doorstep, but will eventually threaten anyone who does not agree with its aggressive policies.”

“The CPI and Hadash call upon the international community to continue its efforts to end the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and to establish an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital but, in the same context, to acknowledge the attack on the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel and to assist in exposing the Israeli government’s racist crimes against its own citizens by dispatching fact finding commissions to Umm Al-Hiran, Qalansawa and all villages facing demolition orders.”

Some facts: In Israel, some 50,000 Arab homes are considered “unauthorized” by the state, which refuses to find a compromise solution that would put an end to the threat of their demolition. In the Negev, there are 38 unrecognized Bedouin villages which remain unconnected to the national water supply and to the electricity network, and which have no schools or even proper roads leading to the villages. Al-Araqeeb, one of these 38 villages, has been demolished 108 times. Eight houses were demolished in Umm Al-Hiran on Wednesday, January 18. The Israeli government wants to demolish Umm Al-Hiran (home to 1,200 Arab residents) in order to build a Jewish town that will have no Arabs, while relocating the people of Umm Al-Hiran to the Arab town of Hoora. Just eight days before the demolitions and bloody violence at Umm Al-Hiran, on Tuesday, January 10, Israeli authorities demolished 11 homes in the Arab city of Qalansawe in the center of the country. The demolitions were conducted only 48 hours after the owners of the homes were first informed of the orders authorizing their destruction, leaving them no time to prevent the action by appealing to the courts.


For further information and coordination:

International Relations Committee 
Communist Party of Israel