Parliamentarians call for halt to planned Khan al Ahmar demolitions

This week 16 parliamentarians wrote to the UK Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, urging immediate action to ensure that the Government of Israel immediately halt the threatened demolitions in the Bedouin community of Khan al Ahmar.   

On 19 February 2017, Israeli authorities issued demolition orders to 40 homes and a primary school in the Palestinian Bedouin community of Khan al Ahmar. The school, which serves 178 students from the area, was built from rubber tyres and recycled materials through the cooperation of local and international volunteers and donors. 

The temporary injunction preventing demolitions expired on Thursday 2 March, leaving residents and pupils at imminent threat of eviction. 

The community is otherwise set to be the latest victim of the Israeli Government’s rapid acceleration of demolitions of Palestinian homes and structures. 2016 saw the highest rate of demolitions since recording began in 2009. This has continued into 2017, with 105 Palestinian structures destroyed or dismantled between 1 January and 6 February, leaving 151 people homeless.

These demolitions constitute a threat to the residents’ rights to housing, education and health which Israel is obliged to respect as the occupying power. As well as the physical health challenges these communities face, fear of imminent demolitions impacts the psychological wellbeing of the community, especially its youngest members. 

Khan al Ahmar is one of 27 Bedouin communities visited regularly by the MAP-supported mobile clinic. It is located between two illegal Israeli settlements in Area C, the 60 percent of the West Bank where Israel maintains full civil and military control. 

Parliamentarians speak out

In the UK, a group of cross-party politicians wrote to Boris Johnson on Tuesday 28 February, adding their voice to international calls for action to protect Khan al Ahmar. 

All 16 parliamentarians have visited the community’s school whilst on delegations to the West Bank with MAP and Caabu. In the letter, the politicians stated that “all of us have seen the grim conditions the community faces” and emphasised that pupils “should not have to endure the demolitions of their homes or their school.” 

Urging action, the group said: “Every possible avenue that the British Government has should be used to ensure that these demolitions do not take place, and ensure that hundreds of men, women and children are not made homeless as result.” 

 “The demolition of Khan Al Ahmar would serve as a grave failure for the international community and we urge you to make urgent representations to the Israeli government about the latest developments.”

Emergency action: Thank you!

Thank you to everyone who has supported our emergency action, tweeting UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson to urge him to take action to prevent 178 Bedouin children from losing their school in Khan al Ahmar.  

Click the link below to add your support. 

                    Twitter action: Call for the school to be protected

Keep up to date

Sign up for our newsletter to receive all the latest updates from our programmes, campaigns and fundraising appeals.