Khan al Ahmar update: Demolition suspended

The Palestinian Bedouin village of Khan al Ahmar has been under imminent threat of demolition and forcible transfer by Israeli forces since July. On Sunday 21 October, Israel announced that it was putting on hold the demolition order of the village for a "short, fixed period of time".

Constant national and international support for the community of Khan al Ahmar and condemnation of Israel’s proposed demolition have undoubtedly had positive impact.

In the UK parliament on 17 October, Alistair Carmichael MP asked the Prime Minister:

“The Bedouin community of Khan al-Ahmar in the occupied Palestinian territories faces imminent demolition and is currently being swamped with sewage from the nearby settlement of Kfar Adumim. Just this morning Israeli forces have tasered and pepper-sprayed activists there. Will the Prime Minister make it clear to the Prime Minister of Israel that this is occupied territory, that these are refugees—protected people whose forcible removal would constitute, as the United Nations has stated, a war crime?”

Prime Minister Theresa May responded that:

My right hon. Friend the Minister for the Middle East met the Israeli ambassador on 11 October. He made clear the UK’s deep concerns about Israel’s planned demolition of the village of Khan al-Ahmar. Its demolition would be a major blow to the prospect of a two-state solution with Jerusalem as a shared capital, and I once again call on the Israeli Government not to go ahead with its plan to demolish the village, including its school, and displace its residents.”

Alistair Carmichael MP visited the West Bank with Caabu and MAP in 2017.

Also last week, the International Criminal Court's prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, condemned the planned demolition of Khan al Ahmar.

I have been following with concern the planned eviction of the Bedouin community of Khan al-Ahmar, in the West Bank.  Evacuation by force now appears imminent, and with it the prospects for further escalation and violence. It bears recalling, as a general matter, that extensive destruction of property without military necessity and population transfers in an occupied territory constitute war crimes under the Rome Statute. “

MAP colleagues visited Khan al Ahmar this week and we will report on that shortly. Further support of Khan al Ahmar and other threatened communities is essential and must be sustained to protect their homes, livelihoods, rights and well-being.

Read our new fact sheet, ‘Obstructed Healthcare and De-Development in Area C of the West Bank’, to learn more about how Israel imposes a range of laws, policies, and practices which pressurise Palestinians and contribute to unliveable conditions or coercive environments and what actions we recommend the UK Government take to protect Palestinians living in Area C.

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