Israeli forces take down protest huts at Bedouin village

Israel demolishes ‘symbolic’ village in East Jerusalem

Israel demolishes ‘symbolic’ village in East Jerusalem

The Khan al-Ahmar encampment has focused attention on what critics say is the continued displacement of Palestinians by Israel.

The United Nations urged Israel not to demolish the village, home to 180 Palestinians, adding that the planned move violates worldwide law.

Activists had erected a number of huts near the village, home to almost 200 people, in the occupied West Bank that is slated for demolition by Israel.

Israel says Khan al-Ahmar was illegally built and has offered to resettle residents 12 kilometers (7 miles) away. It was referring to the 61 percent of the occupied West Bank where Israel exercises full civil as well as military authority.

On Thursday morning, Israeli forces demolished five trailers in Khan al-Ahmar that had been set up earlier in the week as a form of protest against the expected razing of the village.

It stated that "the demolition of Khan al-Ahmar and the forcible transfer of its residents would constitute a grave breach of global humanitarian law".

The PA and the European Union believe Khan al-Ahmar is in a strategic area vital for a future Palestinian state, and that its demolition would weaken the chance that the territory would be placed in Palestinian hands in any future final status agreement.

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Israel security forces on Thursday dismantled several shacks built by Palestinian protesters near Khan al-Ahmar, a Bedouin village in the occupied West Bank that Israel has slated for demolition.

On Wednesday, PLO Executive Committee Chairman Saeb Erekat said he had appealed to the International Court of Justice in The Hague to start proceedings against Israel for its intention to evacuate the illegal Bedouin enclave.

"Ten EU Member States are supporting humanitarian programs in Khan al-Ahmar, including the construction of a primary school, and an estimated 315,000 euros worth of EU-funded humanitarian assistance is now at risk", the resolution stated.

A one-week notice was allowed by Israeli high court ahead of demolition order, after it had rejected an appeal by the residents of Al-Khan Al-Ahmar Bedouin community and ruled in favor of the community's demolition after evicting its residents on September 5. They were not being used by local residents, according to Ha'aretz. But critics say it's impossible for Palestinians to get building permits and the demolition is meant to make room for the expansion of an Israeli settlement.

Reuters witnesses said Israeli forces arrived at the village before sunrise on Thursday and began taking down the newly built protest huts, without touching the Bedouin encampment, the fate of which has become a focus of Palestinian protests and worldwide concern.

Israel's plan to demolish the village and relocate its residents has been criticised by Palestinians and drawn global condemnation.

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