The gendered impact of Israeli forcible displacement: the case of Palestinian Bedouin women in the E1 Area

Tamara Tamimi*, Raghad Adwan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


The Bedouin communities in the southern Jerusalem periphery, more commonly known as the E1 area, live at the sharp edge of Israeli settler colonialism and are thus under a continuous threat of forcible displacement through both direct and indirect means, namely outlawing communities and demolitions in terms of the former and the imposition of a coercive environment at the level of the latter. Specifically in the case of the Bedouins ten out of eighteen Bedouin communities have been offered relocation sites in order to forcefully urbanise these communities. While Israeli settler colonial policy targets the entirety of Bedouin society, we analyse in this chapter the gendered impact of Israeli policy and argue that it has a disproportionate impact on Palestinian Bedouin women as a vulnerable and marginalised social group, in two main ways. First, Israeli settler colonialism reinforces societal patriarchy and reproduces violence, which is exercised by the stronger social group on the weaker social group (i.e. men on women and children). Second, Israeli settler colonialism directly targets women through a systematic structure, rather than isolated events, due to their reproductive ability, which counters the Israeli agenda of settler colonialism and their strive to eliminate the indigenous population to enable the non-indigenous claim of the land.

This chapter relies on a combination of primary and secondary sources. In light of the scarcity of secondary sources focusing on Palestinian Bedouin in the E1 area in general and Bedouin women in particular, primary sources will be situated within the wider literature on gender in protracted conflict and under colonial regimes. Primary sources include both field research and data gathered by way of a desk review of data and relevant legal documents. The field research includes both targeted interviews with stakeholders and duty bearers; civil society organisations (CSOs) and official institutions, and semi-structured interviews and affidavits with women from the Bedouin communities themselves conducted by Al-Quds Human Rights Clinic.

This chapter consists of two main sections; the first focuses on the gendered dimensions of direct displacement and urbanisation. The second analyses the gendered impact of restriction of freedom of movement as an integral part of the coercive environment of displacement. In covering the gendered dimensions of displacement urbanisation, we accentuate the interlocking impact of the intersection of gender and race under colonial regimes. We further explore impact on privacy, agency, and psychosocial wellbeing. In doing so, this section brings to the foreground the utility of employing an intersectional analysis to capture different layers of marginalisation and exclusion. In terms of restriction of mobility, we assess the disproportionate impact of an inadequate road system and lack of public transportation on Palestinian Bedouin women living in the E1 area. This assessment is undertaken through the lenses of women’s economic disempowerment, and the infringement on their rights to education and healthcare.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEnding impunity for international law violations: Palestinian Bedouins and the risk of forced displacement
PublisherHart Publishing
Publication statusAccepted - 09 Apr 2024
Externally publishedYes


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