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Khan Al-Ahmar: Israels Top Court Approves Demolition of Palestinian Village

World  (tags: Palestinian village Khan al-Ahmar, demolition Palestinian homes, Amnesty International, EU, ethnic cleansing, bedouin, U.K., evictions-displacement of non Jews, media, middle-east, news, palestine, world, usa, 'HUMANRIGHTS!', Refugees&Relief, crime )

- 160 days ago -
Israels High Court of Justice has rejected petitions filed by residents of the Palestinian Bedouin village of Khan Al-Ahmar


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fly b (26)
Tuesday September 11, 2018, 10:19 pm
Last update: Wednesday 5 September 2018

Israel's High Court of Justice has rejected petitions filed by residents of the Palestinian Bedouin village of Khan Al-Ahmar, paving the way for the eviction of the community and demolition of the entire village, which can now be carried out any time after 12 September.

Khan Al-Ahmar is located in the occupied West Bank near Route 1, which connects occupied East Jerusalem to the Jordan valley. The village is near the illegal Israeli settlement of Kfar Adumim.

Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman welcomed the High Court's ruling, tweeting: "I congratulate the judges of the High Court of Justice for a courageous and obvious decision - in the face of a concerted hypocritical assault by [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas] Abu Mazen, the left and European countries. No one is above the law. No one will prevent us from exercising our sovereignty and our responsibility as a state."

Translation: Khan al-Ahmar will be evicted! I congratulate the judges of the High Court of Justice for a courageous and obvious decision - in the face of a concerted hypocritical assault by Abu Mazen, the left and the European countries. No one is above the law. No one will prevent us from exercising our sovereignty and our responsibility as a state.

The petitions rejected by the High Court had objected to the wording of the eviction order issued in May, and claimed that Israel's Civil Administration - the military body administrating in the occupied Palestinian territory - had not examined requests by Khan Al-Ahmar residents to obtain building permits in the area.

Ahmed Tibi, an MK on the Arab Joint List, said in a tweet: "The High Court of Justice, that approved almost all the injustices of the [Israeli] occupation since 1967, has surpassed itself this time and decided to evict Khan Al-Ahmar. A blatantly immoral decision, submissive but definitely in the spirit of the new commander: Ayelet Shaked".

Shaked, Israel's justice minister, has been accused by politicians of "terrorising" the judges of the High Court of Justice to rule in favour of decisions and laws that are proposed by the right-wing government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The residents of Khan Al-Ahmar are from the Jahalin tribe, a Bedouin family expelled from the Naqab desert - also referred to as the Negev - during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war. The Jahalin then settled on the eastern slopes of Jerusalem.

The Khan al-Ahmar community comprises of some 35 families whose makeshift homes and schools, mostly made of corrugated metal and wood, have been demolished by the Israeli army several times in past years.

Israeli human rights group B'Tselem said in a statement that judges of the High Court "described in their ruling an imaginary world with an egalitarian planning system that takes into account the needs of the Palestinians as if there had never been an occupation".

"The reality is diametrically opposed to this fantasy, the Palestinians cannot build legally and are excluded from the decision-making mechanisms that determine how their lives will look. The planning systems are intended solely for the benefit of the [Israeli] settlers. This ruling shows once again that those under occupation cannot seek justice in the occupier’s courts," B'tselem added.

Israel intends to demolish the village as part of the so-called E1 plan, which involves building hundreds of settlement units to link the settlements of Kfar Adumim and Maale Adumim with East Jerusalem in the Israeli-controlled Area C of the West Bank. If fully implemented, critics say the E1 plan would effectively split the West Bank in half.


'We refuse to go': Bedouin village vows to resist as threat of Israeli demolition looms

Israel said in July it plans to relocate the 180 residents of Khan Al-Ahmar to an area about 12km away, near the Palestinian village of Abu Dis. But the new site is adjacent to a landfill, and rights advocates say that a forcible transfer of the residents would violate international law applying to occupied territories.

Palestinian activists and officials say the scheme to displace Palestinian residents in the area aims to expand illegal settlements, isolate East Jerusalem from Palestinian communities in the West Bank and effectively cut off the southern and northern West Bank, forcing Palestinians to make even lengthier detours to travel from one place to another.

Last July, Israeli soldiers cracked down on activists who had come to support the town's residents, injuring 35, four of whom were hospitalised. Thirteen people were arrested, including a teenage girl, a Palestinian official said then.

Israel regularly demolishes Palestinian homes and schools in the West Bank, arguing that they were built without a permit. But Human Rights Watch notes that "the Israeli military refuses to permit most new Palestinian construction in the 60 percent of the West Bank where it has exclusive control over planning and building, even as the military facilitates settler construction".

In 2016, the UN Security Council passed a resolution that condemned "all measures aimed at altering the demographic composition, character and status of the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem".

fly b (26)
Tuesday September 11, 2018, 10:28 pm
Israel’s demolition of Khan al-Ahmar and transfer of its inhabitants are war crimes.

Israel’s forcible transfer of Palestinians from their homes and settling of Israeli civilians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories violate the Fourth Geneva Convention and are war crimes, Amnesty International said as it continues to monitor the fast-changing situation on the ground in the Palestinian village of Khan al-Ahmar.

This morning Israeli security forces closed off the areas surrounding the Khan al-Ahmar community in preparation for the demolition of the entire village, including schools, farmland, a mosque and the homes of all families living in the village.

“Going ahead with the demolition of Khan al-Ahmar is not only profoundly cruel; it would also amount to forcible transfer, which is a war crime. Israel must be held to account for such grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which is a standard it has set for itself and demanded of other nations. The international community also has a responsibility to ensure respect for the Geneva Conventions. The demolition of Khan al-Ahmar must be stopped,” said Magdalena Mughrabi, Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International

“Israeli forces have declared Khan al-Ahmar a closed military zone, and blocked all entry into the village, even issuing fines to people who attempted to stop their cars nearby or park there. We have received reports of violent assaults against protesters and the clearing of roads to allow access for bulldozers. Local and international activists have been injured and arrested by security forces, with some briefly detained. Scores of men, women and children face the trauma of displacement and having their homes destroyed by occupying forces.”

Khan al-Ahmar is inhabited by about 180 residents from the Jahalin Bedouin tribe. Several illegal Israeli settlements surround the village located east of Jerusalem. Its destruction will make way for the expansion and connection of large settlement blocs, ultimately surrounding the entire area of East Jerusalem with illegal Israeli settlements and further restricting access to the city for Palestinians.

On May 24, Israel’s Supreme Court ruled that Israel can destroy the entire village of Khan al-Ahmar, including its school which is constructed from rubber tires and provides education for some 170 children from five different Bedouin communities.

On July 4, Israeli forces stormed the nearby Bedouin village of Abu al-Nuwwar in the early morning, demolishing 10 Palestinian homes and structures used for the upkeep of livestock.

fly b (26)
Tuesday September 11, 2018, 10:35 pm
EU Warns Israel Against Demolition of Palestinian Village of Khan al-Ahmar

Israel declared the village of Khan al-Ahmar in the neighborhood of Jerusalem and near the road to the Dead Sea an unauthorized construction and started preparing it for demolition.

The government plans to forcibly evict almost 200 Bedouin Palestinians living there, despite numerous protests from at home and abroad. Israeli Supreme Court rejected the petition of local residents against the demolition.

Meanwhile, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom on Monday warned Israel about the consequences that would entail the destruction of the Palestinian village of Khan al-Ahmar.

"We therefore join High Representative/[European Commission] Vice-President Federica Mogherini in reiterating our call to the Israeli government not to go ahead with its plan to demolish the village – including its school – and displace its residents," the five countries said in a joint published statement.

According to the document, the consequences of the destruction and displacement of the settlement's residents will be very serious and will hinder the prospects of the two-state solution.

Two UN human rights experts called the ruling of the Israeli High Court allowing to demolish the village "appalling."

"This appalling decision could trigger the eviction of 180 inhabitants, including more than 90 children, putting them at imminent risk of forcible transfer," Michael Lynk, UN special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967 and Leilani Farha, UN special rapporteur on adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living, said in a joint statement.

The court's decision violates the fundamental principles of international human rights law and international humanitarian law, they said.

"Forced eviction constitutes a gross violation of the right to adequate housing under international human rights law. In addition, forcible transfer of people who are protected within an occupied territory is a grave breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention, and amounts to a war crime under the 1998 Rome Statute," the experts said.

The special rapporteurs urged Israel to reverse decision and stop the eviction.

Read more: EU Urges Israel to Halt Confiscation, Demolition of Palestinian Property

EU and UN agencies previously repeatedly protested against the upcoming demolition of Khan al-Ahmar, calling the plans of the Israeli authorities a threat to the prospects for a Middle East settlement. They emphasize that the village is part of the so-called E-1 zone between Jerusalem and the large Jewish settlement of Ma'ale Adumim, which has critical importance for the territorial continuity of the future Palestinian state.

fly b (26)
Tuesday September 11, 2018, 10:37 pm
TAKE ACTION: Save Khan al Ahmar.

The Palestinian village of Khan al-Ahmar is now facing imminent demolition after Israel's Supreme Court gave the green light for bulldozers to move in.

Now is the time for action! The British Government have joined the international community in condemning Israeli demolitions and illegal settlements - but this is not enough. Khan al-Ahmar is only one of 46 Palestinian communities in central West Bank that Israel wants to forcibly transfer to make way for illegal Jewish-only settlements.

Please send a message to your MP to take action and call for the UK to ban business with illegal settlements.
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