Palestinian residents of the community fear for the future as a looming Israeli settlement expansion threatens their forcible transfer. When asked if he would move willingly if offered compensation to resettle, Yusuf gave a resounding no. “Absolutely not, we will not move from here,” Yusuf said. “We were here seven or eight years before Maale Adumim. It hurts a lot. I watched this settlement grow like a cancer, taking over all the land…But we refuse to give in. Imagine this is your home and someone tells you to leave it all, how do you think that feels? It’s humiliating,” he added.
The older residents of Jabal al-Baba clearly remember the view of rolling hills and green trees along the neighbouring mountains, before the illegal Israeli settlement of Maale Adumim was constructed. “When I was little there were just mountain and trees on that mountain, like a jungle,” Suleiman Kayed Jahalin – a resident of the area since the 1970s and a member of the Jahalin tribe, one of the biggest Bedouin communities in the West Bank – told Middle East Eye, looking out at the now expansive urban settlement of nearly 40,000 Israeli residents that stretches across the land in front of him.
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