This Bedouin Village Faces Forcible Relocation and Demolition by Israel

Even with international attention drifting away from the protests in the Gaza Strip, new demonstrations have sprung up in West Bank over an entirely different dispute: the relocation of Khan al-Ahmar, a Bedouin village.

Khan al-Ahmar is a small village located not far from a major roadway in the West Bank. The community is more or less believed to have taken on a permanent status beginning in the 1970s, though the groups living there today have resided in the area since at least the 1950s.

Most people living here belong to a Bedouin tribe, the Jahalin. Before then, they had a nomadic existence primarily in and around the Negev — a desert area located in the south of modern day Israel. Due to the Six-Day War, however, many of these tribes were forced to move to the West Bank and transition to living in long-term communities.

The Bedouins living in Khan al-Ahmar have done what they can to make a life there. Thanks to foreign aid, Bedouin children are even educated at a local school. But this may soon all go away.

According to Israeli zoning law, Khan al-Ahmar is illegal and will be demolished in the near future. However, at the time of writing, residents of the village have filed a pair of appeals to Israeli courts to call off the bulldozers — and they’ve succeeded in getting a temporary postponement.

If Israel’s original plans go forth, the residents of Khan al-Ahmar will be taken by Israeli soldiers to a village located near the garbage dump used by the West Bank city of Abu Dis. Their shelters and the permanent school will be leveled, and the land might then be used by Jewish settlers.

Forcibly relocating a population is undoubtedly a violation of international human rights laws. It also constitutes a war crime, as the land Khan al-Ahmar is technically located in occupied territory. To occupy a territory and then use soldiers to force indigenous families to move next to a pile of trash would not be sanctioned by any international body. But this has become par for the course for Israel, who has long known that with the United States’ unwavering support, it can violate human rights without repercussion.

This dilemma could be solved quite readily by the Israeli courts. All that is needed is for the village to be retroactively zoned to come into line with Israeli law. This has been done in the past, but it should come as little surprise that this has only occurred in cases where Jewish settlements have been illegally established in the West Bank. If the courts don’t grant the Bedouins of Khan al-Ahmar the same privilege, it will speak volumes about the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Take Action!

Israel has no right to force dozens of families to leave their homes against their will — especially when the reason behind it is something as trivial as zoning law violations. If you agree, consider adding your name to this Care2 petition directed at Israel’s High Court of Justice asking that they retroactively legalize Khan al-Ahmar.

Concerned about an issue? Want to raise awareness about an injustice? Join your fellow Care2 users by learning how to make your own petition and make your voice heard today!


Photo Credit: Capoeira4Refugees/Flickr


Marie W
Marie W2 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

Kelsey S
Kelsey S8 months ago

Petition signed

Kathy G
Kathy G8 months ago

Thank you

Janis K
Janis K9 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

Brian F
Brian F9 months ago

Israel must end it's illegal blockade of Gaza, and move it's illegal settlements out of the West Bank. The USA also needs to stop giving Israel 8 million dollars a day so it can oppress the Palestinians. This is a human rights violation.

Marija M
Marija M9 months ago

OMG. Israel is allowed to do anything...why? Where is UN?

Peggy B
Peggy B9 months ago

In my opinion, this video explains and defines Zionism versus the religion of the Jewish people.

Peggy B
Peggy B9 months ago

Chrissie R....with all due respect, not agreeing with the Israeli government is a far cry from being anti-Semitic. If that is the case then the Israeli citizens who protest are anti-semitic. BTW, can a Jewish person be anti-Semitic?

David C
David C9 months ago

very sad

hELEN hEARFIELD9 months ago