Just 5 miles east of occupied Jerusalem is the Palestinian-Bedouin village of Khan Al-Ahmar. Home to 32 families, the village is facing threats of demolition by Israeli soldiers who have been given the green light by Israel’s Supreme Court to raze Palestinian homes in Khan Al-Ahmar to the ground.
For a decade, the people of Khan Al-Ahmar have been living under the threat of demolition at the hands of the Israeli army. They have faced intense Israeli harassment aimed at making their lives so miserable they would give up and leave. Between 2006-2017, Israel demolished 26 homes in the village, leaving 132 Palestinians, including 77 children, homeless. In 2015, Israeli authorities confiscated 12 solar panels providing power to the village.
The main school in Khan Al-Ahmar has struggled to keep its classrooms open. The school serves over 170 Palestinian children across nine grades. If Israel goes through with it’s planned demolition, the school will be demolished.
On September 5, 2018 Israel’s High Court issued a decision approving the demolition of Khan Al-Ahmar. Since then, local and international protests against the ruling have been ongoing. Residents waged an inspiring campaign of resistance, camping out overnight, obstructing Israeli army bulldozers and facing down Israeli brutality.
Amnesty International issued the following statement decrying Israel’s complete disregard for International Law in its treatment of Palestinians in Khan Al-Ahmar:
“With this shameful and manifestly unlawful ruling the Supreme Court has confirmed a pattern of complicity in the crime of forcible transfer of Palestinian communities for the expansion Jewish only settlements. The court has not only completely denied the petitioners the protection provided to them by International Humanitarian Law, it has also validated the discriminatory policies of the Israeli authorities.”
Israel plans to remove the residents of Khan Al-Ahmar and force them to live near a garbage dump next to the village of Abu Dis.
If Israel’s demolition plan goes through, this will be the second time these Palestinian-Bedouin families are forced out of their homes by the occupation. The first was in 1948, during the Nakba, when Zionist militia expelled them out of the Negev and into what is today the occupied West Bank.
In June 2019, Israel’s supreme court issued a statement postponing the demolition for six months. In December 2019, the threat of demolition and expulsion will once again be a reality.
EU Members Joint Statement on Khan al-Ahmar- Published 21 September 2018
EU members press stakeout on Khan al-Ahmar – France, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, United Kingdom, Belgium, Germany, Italy.
The Israeli High Court on 5 September rejected the petitions by the residents of the Palestinian village of Khan al-Ahmar and allowed the Israeli authorities to proceed with the plans for demolition within seven days. Any day now, the Israeli authorities could start demolishing this community, including its school, and evict the residents from their homes, including many children.
Today, we want to underline our position on the planned demolition of Khan al-Ahmar. We, as member states of the European Union and the European Union as such, have repeatedly stated our long-standing position on Israel’s settlement policy, illegal under international law, as reconfirmed by Security Council Resolution 2334 (2016), and actions taken in that context, including the demolitions of Palestinian communities and possible forced transfers of population. The community of Khan al-Ahmar is located in a sensitive location in Area C, of strategic importance for preserving the contiguity of a future Palestinian state.