Published: Sun, September 16, 2018

IDF removes Palestinian protest shacks supporting illegal Bedouin hamlet

IDF removes Palestinian protest shacks supporting illegal Bedouin hamlet

It has offered to resettle the residents 12 kilometers (7 miles) away under what it says are improved conditions - with connections to water, electricity and sewage treatment they now don't have.

Earlier this week, dozens of Palestinian activists hastily erected the symbolic village, which had consisted of five homes built of tin and wood before it was razed.

Critics say its removal is meant to make room for an Israeli settlement.

Parliamentarians called on the European Union to more strenuously object to the demolition, including insisting on compensation of the loss of EU-funded structures in Khan al-Ahmar and other such herding villages.

"Israel bears full responsibility for providing the necessary services, including education, healthcare and welfare, for the people living under its occupation, in line with the Fourth Geneva Convention", the resolution read.

It stated that "the demolition of Khan al-Ahmar and the forcible transfer of its residents would constitute a grave breach of global humanitarian law".

On Tuesday, UN Mideast envoy Nickolay Mladenov warned that demolition of the village would impact peace efforts.

Any subsequent forcible transfer of the Khan Al-Ahmar Bedouin will constitute a war crime under Article 8 of the Statute of the International Criminal Court.

Mladenov said the planned demolition of the village would "undermine the prospect for two-state solution and is against worldwide law".

Activists say Khan al-Ahmar was established without permits after the Jahalin Bedouin tribe, originally from the Negev desert, were expelled from the area by the Israeli military in the 1950's and then again from Kfar Adumim, where they leased land.

Israeli troops removed caravans on Thursday from near a Bedouin village in the occupied West Bank which they have orders to demolish despite global criticism, an AFP photographer reported.

On Wednesday, PLO Executive Committee Chairman Saeb Erekat said he had appealed to the International Court of Justice in The Hague to start proceedings against Israel for its intention to evacuate the illegal Bedouin enclave.

The judges also rejected the petitioners' request to delay Khan al-Ahmar's demolition until an alternative site is found for its residents. Security forces were deployed to the village and construction workers began paving an access road that would facilitate the demolition and evacuation. Israel says Khan al-Ahmar was illegally built and in an unsafe location near a major highway.

Last week, Israel's Supreme Court rejected petitions to prevent the move, siding with the authorities who say the village was built without required permits, which Palestinians say is impossible to obtain because of the expansion of illegal Jewish-only Israeli settlements there.

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