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Israel begins demolishing Bedouin homes outside Jerusalem — ‘Trump’s July 4th gift to Netanyahu’

Israel/Palestine
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Israel forces arrived this morning to two Palestinian-Bedouin villages and began razing buildings in preparation for taking over the land, alarming human rights groups who say such a move would effectively cut the West Bank into two.

The villages Khan al-Ahmar, and Abu Nuwar are home to just around 2,000 Bedouins, but the impact of their removal would be lasting, making a Palestinian state no longer possible, advocates of the two-state solution warned.

Today, bulldozers demolished nine homes and three farm buildings in Abu Nuwar and clashed with Bedouin residents in Khan al-Ahmar. According to the Palestinian Red Crescent Society Israeli police injured 35, of whom 4 were hospitalized. Founder of Rabbis for Human Rights, Rabbi Arik Ascherman posted a video of the encounter on social media, writing, “You can see some of the violence at the end of this video. My battery died, and I didn’t get the worst of it. The police were swinging wildly and kicking viciously, until their commanding officer got ahold of them.”

Activists on the ground say they fear the demolitions of the towns will be completed overnight, in darkness and after media and European consular officials, who were on site today, head home.

Angela Godfrey-Goldstein who heads the group Jahalin Solidarity told Mondoweiss, “This demolition is Trump’s gift to Netanyahu for July Fourth.  But it has backfired. I don’t think Trump understands what he has set in motion, which is why it’s so dangerous.” She warned the eviction would move Israel onto a path of “full fledged apartheid statehood, with no sustainable future ahead. So it’s suicidal.”

Also this morning Israeli authorities were spotted at Jabal West with construction materials. Jabal West is a proposed relocation site outfitted with an apartment building and buffered by a city dump. Spokesperson for the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem Amit Gilutz said in a statement that demolishing the Bedouin towns and then moving them to another location constitutes forcible transfer, a violation of international law.

“No military order or court ruling can make the transfer of these residents lawful or moral. Forcible transfer of Palestinian communities is a war crime, and all who are involved in approving or implementing it bear personal liability,” Gilutz said.

Israeli policemen detain a Palestinian demonstrator in the Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar east of Jerusalem in the occupied West Bank on July 4, 2018. Residents and activists voiced concern today that Israel is set to raze a Bedouin village in a strategic part of the occupied West Bank ignoring international calls for a reprieve. Activists said the Israeli military issued a warrant to the 173 residents of Khan al-Ahmar on Tuesday authorising it to seize access roads to the village. (Photo: Shadi Hatem/APA Images)

Israeli policemen scuffles with a Palestinian demonstrator in the Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar east of Jerusalem in the occupied West Bank on July 4, 2018. (Photo: Shadi Hatem/APA Images)

While demolitions were on-going today the UK’s Parliament met for an emergency discussion on the demolitions. Lawmakers from Britain’s Labour party called for a decisive response, weighing recognizing Palestinian statehood and banning trade with Israeli companies that operate in the settlements. 

Labour party parliamentarian Richard Burden said, “Speaking plainly, it is state sponsored theft. A theft that will cut the West Bank into two, making a continuous Palestinian state near impossible and the prospects of a two state solution so more remote.”

Bedouins Khan al-Ahmar and Abu Nuwar are from the Jahalin tribe, Palestinian herders and shepherds who lived in lands that became southern Israel until the 1950s. At that time Israel’s military government transferred them to the hilltops outside of Jerusalem, where they live today.

Israeli police secure a bulldozer demolishing structures at the Bedouin village of Abu Nuwar, near Abu Dis, east of Jerusalem in the occupied West Bank on July 4, 2018. Israel carried out a series of demolitions Wednesday on what it described as illegally built structures. (Photo: Shadi Hatem/APA Images)

A picture taken on July 4, 2018 shows remains of a dwellings after it was demolished by Israeli forces in Abu Nuwar village near Abu Dis, east of Jerusalem in the occupied West Bank. Israel carried out a series of demolitions Wednesday on what it described as illegally built structures. (Photo: Shadi Hatem/APA Images)

Senior Palestinian official Hanan Ashrawi said in a statement today that the demolitions are taking place because Israel aims to evict the Bedouins and move Israeli settlers onto the land.

“Words of warning to Israel are not enough. If there is no serious intervention from the international community towards the Israeli government and its belligerent military occupation, other villages will be next, and more Palestinian men, women and children will be displaced for another 70 years to come,” she said.

 

 

 

Allison Deger
About Allison Deger

Allison Deger is the Assistant Editor of Mondoweiss.net. Follow her on twitter at @allissoncd.

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4 Responses

  1. Kay24
    Kay24
    July 4, 2018, 2:51 pm

    God’s chosen acting like they are devils.

  2. Citizen
    Citizen
    July 4, 2018, 11:16 pm

    I spread the word on twitter among the tweets celebrating July 4th. I wish I could do more to make my fellow Americans more aware. I included Trump’s and Netanyahu’s tweets by way of reply.

  3. Ossinev
    Ossinev
    July 5, 2018, 6:58 am

    “Senior Palestinian official Hanan Ashrawi said in a statement today that the demolitions are taking place because Israel aims to evict the Bedouins and move Israeli settlers onto the land.

    “Words of warning to Israel are not enough. If there is no serious intervention from the international community towards the Israeli government and its belligerent military occupation, other villages will be next, and more Palestinian men, women and children will be displaced for another 70 years to come,” she said”

    Not to worry Ms Ashrawi there is little likelihood of Israel displacing their Vichy PA enablers for the foreseeable future so you and your fellow collaborators can continue to live in style with your nice little earners and ego soothing public profiles. Oh and you can continue to wax lyrical over the mythical two state solution which apparently you gave four months to live in 2010

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