Editor’s note: A tiny Palestinian Bedouin town located in the West Bank hills outside of Jerusalem is bracing for an impending eviction to make way for plans to expand an Israeli settlement. The case reached its endpoint on Monday when the deadline ordered by Israel’s high court expired on the community of Khan al-Ahmar to vacate and demolish their own homes and an elementary school.
The ruling comes after a lengthy court battle that began in 2009, where Israel seeks to transfer the Bedouin community to a nearby reservation of apartment units adjacent to an unofficial municipal dump. For the Bedouins, the move would devastate the herding community, making it impossible to bring along their main source of income, their grazing animals.
This case has implications far beyond the 32 families who live there and the nearly 200 students who attend the school in the town. Khan al-Ahmar is situated at a midpoint between the West Bank and Israel. If the eviction moves forward, it will pave the way for a Jewish-only settlement bloc to divide the West Bank into two, rendering impossible the creation of a unified Palestinian state in the occupied territory.
Photographer Thomas Dallal documented the demolition preparations throughout the month of September.