Published: Tue, October 23, 2018

Israel Bows to International Solidarity Pressure, Postpones Khan al-Ahmar Demolition

Israel Bows to International Solidarity Pressure, Postpones Khan al-Ahmar Demolition

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the West Bank village of Khan al-Ahmar located east of Jerusalem will be evacuated.

Rights advocates had said the forcible transfer of the village's 180 residents would violate global law regarding occupied territory.

Ibrahim Abu Dahuk said Netanyahu's decision could be "a trick" to prompt activists camping out at the site to leave ahead of a forceful eviction.

The Palestinians claim all the West Bank and say that Area C, home also to an estimated 150,000 to 200,000 Palestinians, is crucial to their economic development.

The community includes an only school for the Bedouin communities in the area, a mosque and a healthcare unit as well as several homes that are all at risk of demolition by Israel, but residents say they are offered no alternative to go.

Yesterday, Haaretz quoted sources in the Prime Minister's Office who said "the intent is to try to exhaust the negotiations and the proposals that have been received from various sources, including in recent days", before a forcible evacuation takes place.


Israeli soldiers resorted, Friday, to the excessive use of force against dozens of Palestinian, worldwide and Israeli peace activists, holding a nonviolent procession in the al-Khan al-Ahmar Palestinian Bedouin community, east of occupied Jerusalem, wounding ten, and abducted one after injuring him.

Hundreds of protesters, including Assaf, chairman of the Commission Against the Wall and Settlements, were taking part in the weekly protest in the village when the Israeli forces started beating them up and attacked them with pepper gas.

In her statement Wednesday, prosecutor Fatou Bensouda warned the relocation of Khan al-Ahmar's residents could constitute a war crime according to the Rome Statute, the treaty that established the ICC. Four protesters were reportedly arrested on October 15, according to the Palestinian National Liberation Movement and the Times of Israel. Since that deadline expired without compliance, residents have been waiting for bulldozers to move in. Last week, demonstrators demanding an end to Israeli ownership of the lands marched in Jordan's capital of Amman.

He described the excessive use of force by the army as "vicious and criminal", and added that the "popular resistance will continue in al-Khan al-Ahmar, and will prove the unity between occupied Jerusalem, the ongoing Great Return March processions in Gaza, and the struggle from breaking the deadly Israeli siege".

Netanyahu's postponement had drawn swift condemnation from defense minister Avigdor Liberman's office, which said in a statement that the decision was made "in complete opposition to the stance of the defense minister and despite his firm objection".

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