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Days before the election, Netanyahu promises to evacuate Khan al-Ahmar

“This will happen very soon, as soon as possible,” Netanyahu said.

By Tovah Lazaroff / April 6, 2019 22:12 x

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised to evacuate the illegal West Bank herding village of Khan al-Ahmar in a series of weekend interview he gave just prior to Tuesday’s election.
“This will happen very soon, as soon as possible. I promised and it will happen,” Netanyahu told Channel 12 on Saturday night.

In an interview with the Hebrew news organization Makor Rishon, he said that before acting against the village of huts and tents, which is home to 180 members of the Jahalin Bedouin tribe, he had to “dismantle a diplomatic-legal ambush.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised to evacuate the illegal West Bank herding village of Khan al-Ahmar in a series of weekend interview he gave just prior to Tuesday’s election.

The Khan al-Ahmar Bedouin, who have been at that their present location since the 1970s, have insisted on remaining there but would be willing to relocate a short distance further from Route 1.
They also rejected the two alternative sites presented by the state in the same region of Area C outside of Jerusalem where Khan al-Ahmar is located.
The first is located next to a garbage dump in a new neighborhood of Abu Dis, called Jahalin West. The second site is next to a wastewater treatment plant not far from the settlement of Mitzpe Yericho.

Former defense minister Avigdor Liberman had been close to evacuating the community in October, but his efforts were thwarted by Netanyahu who at the last minute halted the proceedings after Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit said that from a legal perspective he needed to make another attempt to come to an agreement with Khan al-Ahmar’s residents.
The decision to delay the demolition also came after a warning by Fatou Bensouda, the prosecutor for the International Criminal Court at The Hague, that such a move could constitute a war crime.

At the time, Netanyahu promised that Khan al-Ahmar would be demolished soon.
“Khan al-Ahmar will be evacuated. It is a decision of the court. It is our policy and it will be executed,” Netanyahu told his faction in October.
In its petition to the HCJ, Regavim stated that it seemed as if Netanyahu and defense officials believed they had fulfilled their obligations to the court simply by making declarative statements.
By failing to enforce the evacuation of Khan al-Ahmar, the state is undermining the principle of law and order and eroding the public’s trust in the government and the courts, Regavim stated in its petition.

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