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In photos: Khan al-Ahmar prepares for demolition after decade-long battle to remain

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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. 

Khan al-Ahmar, September, 18 2018. (Photo: Thomas Dallal)
Khan al-Ahmar, September, 18 2018. (Photo: Thomas Dallal)
Khan al-Ahmar, September, 18 2018. (Photo: Thomas Dallal)
Khan al-Ahmar, September, 18 2018. (Photo: Thomas Dallal)
Khan al-Ahmar, September, 18 2018. (Photo: Thomas Dallal)
Khan al-Ahmar, September, 18 2018. (Photo: Thomas Dallal)
Khan al-Ahmar, September, 18 2018. (Photo: Thomas Dallal)
Khan al-Ahmar, September, 18 2018. (Photo: Thomas Dallal)
Khan al-Ahmar, September, 18 2018. (Photo: Thomas Dallal)
Khan al-Ahmar, September, 18 2018. (Photo: Thomas Dallal)
Khan al-Ahmar, September, 18 2018. (Photo: Thomas Dallal)
Khan al-Ahmar, September 10, 2018. (Photo: Thomas Dallal)
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at the end of this presentation in south africa, by award winning journalist Thomas Dallal, he talks about his father-in-law’s village, now the site of a l’oreal factory and “park” (the old olive trees from their village land), “the colonial enterprise in the west bank is a continuation of what was done in ’48”. witnessing and capturing these moments in Khan al-Ahmar, of the children especially, it must be a familiar bitter taste. like documenting… Read more »

Roha- the holiday named Chanuka is about rededicating the temple after idol worship. I do not think that the Jewish connection to Jerusalem should supercede all other connections because of its antiquity or because of the special role Judaism played in the development of Christianity and Islam. On the other hand the pretense by Christians and Muslims that their new prophecies or testaments supercede the Jewish connection are a symptom of the unharmonious nature of… Read more »