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Palestine: Palestinians protest village Israeli demolition plans, evicting Bedouins

6th Sep 2018
Palestine: Palestinians protest village Israeli demolition plans, evicting Bedouins

By Qais Abu Samra

 

RAMALLAH, Palestine (AA):The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) on Wednesday organized a sit-in in Khan al-Ahmar, a Bedouin village in East Jerusalem, to protest an Israeli court decision calling for the village’s demolition and the eviction of its inhabitants.

“Israel continues to impose restrictions on the Palestinian people and expel them from their homes,” Walid Assaf, head of the PLO’s commission on settlements, told reporters in Khan al-Ahmar.

“Now it has ordered the demolition of Khan al-Ahmar in clear disregard for international law,” he added.

“We are holding this sit-in today to show solidarity with the people of Khan al-Ahmar and pressure Israel to reverse its decision,” Assaf said.

He added: “We have exhausted all domestic legal channels, so we must resort to international law to safeguard our rights.”

The Palestinian government said in a statement that it “deplores the decision of the Israeli Supreme Court, backed by the Israeli right-wing government to give the occupation forces the authority to commit an International crime by forcibly displacing and transferring 180 Palestinian citizens of Khan al-Ahmar village, east of occupied Jerusalem.”

Spokesperson of the Palestinian government, Youssef al-Mahmoud, said that “demolishing Khan al-Ahmar and displacing its residents is ethnic cleansing.”

Earlier Wednesday, Israel’s Supreme Court rejected an appeal against the planned eviction of Khan al-Ahmar’s Palestinian Bedouin inhabitants.

The decision immediately drew fire from the Ramallah-based Palestinian government.

“This decision only reconfirms that the Israeli Supreme Court is a tool of the [Israeli] occupation,” the Palestinian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Israel’s hardline defense minister, Avigdor Lieberman, for his part, hailed the court ruling.

“Khan al-Ahmar will be evacuated,” he tweeted. “I congratulate the Supreme Court judges for their brave decision.”

“Nobody [is] above law,” he added. “Nobody can prevent us from consolidating our sovereignty.”

In early July, Israeli bulldozers destroyed a number of tents and other structures in Khan al-Ahmar, sparking clashes with local residents.

There are 46 Bedouin communities — inhabited by some 3,000 residents — scattered across Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem.

Under the 1995 Oslo agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA), the West Bank — including East Jerusalem — was divided into Areas A, B and C.

Area A falls under the administrative and security control of the PA; Area B falls under the administrative control of the PA and the security control of Israel; and Area C — in which Khan al-Ahmar is located — falls under the administrative and security control of Israel.

[Archive Photo: Israeli forces after they demolished 40 Palestinian houses in Abu Al-Nevvar district of Jerusalem on 4 July 2018. Photographer: Issam Rimawi/AA]

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