The Palestinian Information Center reports – The Israeli occupation army’s civil administration intends to flout injunctions recently issued by the high court of justice against the evacuation of the Bedouin community of Khan al-Ahmar in east Jerusalem and demolish the hamlet in the next few days.
Last week, the Israeli high court of justice has accepted a Palestinian petition and issued an injunction ordering a temporary halt to the demolition of the Bedouin Khan al-Ahmar hamlet for a few days.
Although there is a new petition filed last Monday with the same court, the Israeli army’s civil administration on Tuesday informed the court that it intends to demolish the village in another few days and relocate the villagers to a site near the Abu Dis dump.
The court issued its temporary injunction on the demolition in response to the earlier petition, but the civil administration persisted in building new roads in the area to facilitate the arrival of troops to carry out the forced evacuation of the local residents.
On Monday, the high court issued a restraining order in response to the new petition. The order bars the civil administration from evicting the residents and requires it to respond to the petition’s arguments by July 16.
In its response on Tuesday to the first petition, which was filed last week, the civil administration blatantly asked the court to issue a ruling quickly, since “forces are already deployed in the field” to carry out the demolition.
The civil administration told the court it was making final preparations for razing Khan al-Ahmar “within a few days.”
Last week’s petition argued that residents had submitted a detailed master plan to the civil administration earlier that week, but the administration had refused to consider it. One of the civil administration’s arguments for why this petition should be rejected was that it did not include any documents demonstrating any rights to the land covered by the master plan. Therefore, it said, its refusal to consider the plan was justified.
In a response to these Israeli arguments, another Palestinian petition was filed on Monday. The petition states that Khan al-Ahmar residents received permission from the land’s legal owners to use it.
According to the new petition, Israel has wrongly claimed for many years that the Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar sits on state land, and that is what enabled it to persuade the high court of justice not to intervene in its decision to raze the hamlet.
The new petition also affirms that this is privately-owned land legally registered in the Jordanian land registry back when Jordan controlled the West Bank.
Amnesty International reports – Israel’s forcible transfer of Palestinians from their homes and settling of Israeli civilians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories violate the Fourth Geneva Convention and are war crimes, Amnesty International said as it continues to monitor the fast-changing situation on the ground in the Palestinian village of Khan al-Ahmar.
This morning Israeli security forces closed off the areas surrounding the Khan al-Ahmar community in preparation for the demolition of the entire village, including schools, farmland, a mosque and the homes of all families living in the village.
“Going ahead with the demolition of Khan al-Ahmar is not only profoundly cruel; it would also amount to forcible transfer, which is a war crime. Israel must be held to account for such grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which is a standard it has set for itself and demanded of other nations. The international community also has a responsibility to ensure respect for the Geneva Conventions. The demolition of Khan al-Ahmar must be stopped,” said Magdalena Mughrabi, Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International
“Israeli forces have declared Khan al-Ahmar a closed military zone, and blocked all entry into the village, even issuing fines to people who attempted to stop their cars nearby or park there. We have received reports of violent assaults against protesters and the clearing of roads to allow access for bulldozers. Local and international activists have been injured and arrested by security forces, with some briefly detained. Scores of men, women and children face the trauma of displacement and having their homes destroyed by occupying forces.”
Khan al-Ahmar is inhabited by about 180 residents from the Jahalin Bedouin tribe. Several illegal Israeli settlements surround the village located east of Jerusalem. Its destruction will make way for the expansion and connection of large settlement blocs, ultimately surrounding the entire area of East Jerusalem with illegal Israeli settlements and further restricting access to the city for Palestinians.
On May 24, Israel’s Supreme Court ruled that Israel can destroy the entire village of Khan al-Ahmar, including its school which is constructed from rubber tires and provides education for some 170 children from five different Bedouin communities.
On July 4, Israeli forces stormed the nearby Bedouin village of Abu al-Nuwwar in the early morning, demolishing 10 Palestinian homes and structures used for the upkeep of livestock.