On May 24, the Israeli High Court of Justice rejected the petition of the residents of the Bedouin village Khan Al Ahmar against the planned demolition of their community. As a result, the demolition of their homes is now imminent. As we have detailed previously (see here and here), the scope of the demolition threat advanced by the Israeli government is unprecedented, as it will result in the destruction of an entire village, including one of the only schools accessible to Bedouin communities living in the area. It will likewise involve the forcible transfer of 180 people – something that would be a war crime.
This week, over 300 public figures from around the world published an open letter entitled “Forcible Transfer is a War Crime.” EU heads of mission made a public visit to Khan al Ahmar and issued a statement calling on Israel not to carry out the demolitions and noting that “Displacing the community would be in contravention with Israel’s obligations as an occupying power under international humanitarian law.” In a separate initiative, 100 UK Parliamentarians sent a letter calling on Israel’s ambassador to stop demolition and forcible transfer of Palestinian Bedouin community of Khan al Ahmar
In addition, a growing number of Israeli voices are being heard condemning the planned demolition, including an extraordinary statement from Sallai Meridor, the former Israeli ambassador to the United States who is also a founder of the Kfar Adumim settlement. Meridor published an open letter condemning petitions to the High Court submitted by his own settlement supporting the demolition of Khan al Ahmar, noting “What morality drove us to wish for the banishment of people for the second time, after their families were banished from the State of Israel in the 1950s?”.
As we have noted previously: Khan al Ahmar is located located northeast of Jerusalem, between Maale Adumim and Kfar Adumim, north of Road No. 1. The demolition of the village will make way for construction of the long-planned settlement of E-1.