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Tomorrow: Court Ruling — 12.9.12 Press release

Israeli court to rule on fate of Tire-School

On Thursday, the Israeli Supreme Court will rule on a petition by settlers demanding the demolition of the iconic car tire school, which is the only permanent structure in the West Bank Bedouin village of Al Khan al Ahmar.

JERUSALEM, September 12 2012 — Tomorrow, the Israeli Supreme Court will rule on a petition filed by settlers of Kfar Adumim demanding the demolition of a Bedouin school which is ecologically built of mud and used car tires. The school is attended by roughly 95 Bedouin children (grades 1-4) who are residents of the nearby hut village Al Khan al Ahmar.

This Jahalin Bedouin community has been residing in the area for over 60 years, long before the construction of the settlement of Kfar Adumim, which now resides alongside their huts.

In the state’s response to the settler’s petition, Defense Minister Ehud Barak was quoted saying that he intends to move the “illegal” Al Khan al Ahmar village to a site adjacent to the Aqabat Jabar refugee camp in Jericho or to a site adjacent to Nueima refugee camp in the Jordan Rift Valley.

If this plan is to move forward soon, the school will be demolished and moved with the rest of the village. If the plan is delayed the school will still be moved to a temporary structure in one of the sites mentioned in the response.

The Bedouin community of Al Khan al Ahmar is represented by Attorney Shlomo Lecker. Lecker argues that the “illegality” of the school is rooted in the the IDF’s decades-long denial of orderly building permits for the community. This policy was put in place with the aim of clearing the indigenous population to make room for settlements such as Kfar Adumim.

“Furthermore, the position of the Minister of Defense remains unclear on the problematic nature of sending young girls and boys to distant strange locations such as Nueima in the Jordan Valley,” Lecker added. “Just in order to comply with the wishes of settlers who have been leading a crusade against their neighbors’ school in Al Khan al Ahmar.”

Restricted by their harsh conditions of life, the Jahalin Bedouin of Al Khan al Ahmar struggle to provide their children with an education. The Al Khan al Ahmar school constructed of car tires covered in mud is the only permanent structure in the village and serves as a community center and focal point.

Link to court documents (Hebrew)

Link to a letter from the Al Khan al Ahmar community (English)

Advisory: The court will convene at 09:00a.m. Members of the Al Khan al Ahmar community will be present.

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