Published: 2018-07-05 10:22
Last Updated: 2018-07-05 11:24
The United Nations and European countries urged Israel on Wednesday not to demolish the Khan Al-Ahmar village and forcibly remove its entire community, which is made up of 46 Bedouin communities.
Dozens of Palestinians protesting the demolition of the entire village, located near occupied East Jerusalem, were assaulted by Israeli forces throughout Wednesday. At least 35 protestors were wounded, four of whom were hospitalized, during the clashes, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent.
Activists resisting the demolition formed a human chain to prevent three large bulldozers from destroying the homes of the herding village’s 180 residents.
The British Parliament held a debate in response to the events, in which the Minister of State for the Middle East and North Africa, Alistair Burt, said that the UK was in talks with other European countries to “formulate a response,” The Jerusalem Post reported.
“This is something that should not be happening, need not be happening,” Burt said, adding that it does damage “at a time when many of us are looking to move on the Middle East peace process in which this piece of land might play a significant part.”
“The timing and the action itself is deeply concerning. Nothing is as of yet irrevocable. We are in conversation already with like-minded partners to see what should be done next,” Burt said.
The Supreme Court in Israel had approved the demolition of Khan Al-Ahmar in May, as it falls in Area C of the occupied West Bank, which is under total Israeli control. Israel said that the village was built without Israeli construction permits, which are rarely, if ever, approved.
The demolition plans come in order to make way for another illegal Israeli housing settlement. Khan Al-Ahmar is currently located between two other settlements: Ma’aleh Adumim, near Jerusalem, and Kfar Adumim, which were built long after 1953, the year the Jahalin Bedouin community set up camp in Khan Al-Ahmar, after being expelled from Southern Israel in the early fifties.
Israel said it plans to relocate the residents to an area about 12 kilometers away, near the Palestinian village of Abu Dis.