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Khan al-Ahmar

Dispatch from Palestine: A year in review

Yumna Patel on

Looking back on this year, it is difficult to choose one moment, one tragedy, or one political decision that stands out among the rest. Palestinians witnessed a tumultuous year in 2018, as they saw hundreds killed from the West Bank to Gaza, their rights slowly stripped away inside Israel, and the heart of Palestinian identity, Jerusalem, pushed further out of reach. But as evidenced by the ongoing fight for the rights of refugees in Gaza’s Great March of Return, the fight against expulsion in places Silwan and Khan al-Ahmar, and the fight for equal rights as citizens in Israel, the fight for Palestinian rights continued as well.

As Israel deliberates their fate, Khan al-Ahmar’s residents struggle to restore sense of normalcy

Yumna Patel on

After nearly two months on high alert, the fear of imminent demolition permanently lingering in the air, the residents of Khan al-Ahmar and the activists supporting them took a collective, albeit temporary, sigh of relief last week.

When news spread that the Israeli government was postponing the demolition of the village until further notice, the Bedouins of Khan al-Ahmar, along with hundreds of activists and Palestinian government officials rejoiced.

Now, as the euphoria of the postponement wears off, the residents of Khan al-Ahmar are back trying to resume their daily lives as normal until the next decision comes.

Israeli forces injure 5, arrest 4, as tensions rise in Khan al-Ahmar

Yumna Patel on

Tensions heightened Monday morning in the Palestinian Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar, as Israeli police forces entered the village with bulldozers, sparking confrontations with residents and local and foreign activists who attempted to prevent authorities from entering the village.

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

Thomas Dallal on

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. This case has implications far beyond the 32 families who live there and the nearly 200 students who attend the school in the town. 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. 

The families of Khan Al-Ahmar insist on their right to remain and defend their village

Jamal Jaheleen on
Israeli policemen scuffle with Palestinian demonstrators in the Bedouin village of al-Khan al-Ahmar east of Jerusalem in the occupied West Bank on July 4, 2018.

After a long and courageous struggle, the people of Khan Al-Ahmar lost their battle when the Israeli high declared the demolition of their village can go ahead. Jamal Jaheleen, a Palestinian writer and poet who lives in the village of Khan Al-Ahmar, writes, “It is expected, that after many court sessions, after the people of Khan Al-Ahmar refuse all offers from the occupying forces, and insist on their right to remain and defend their village, the bulldozers will come to crush the lingering dream of survival, of preserving the heritage and the very fabric of their identity.”

Israeli court gives final green light for demolition of Khan al-Ahmar

Yumna Patel on

The Israeli High Court rejected on Wednesday petitions filed by the Bedouins of Khan al-Ahmar against the demolition of the village, paving the way for Israel to demolish the entire community any time after September 12. The decision was the final greenlight for the government to forcibly evacuate and destroy Khan al-Ahmar, a project that it has been pursuing for years in order to create a bloc of illegal Israeli settlements in the area.

By razing Khan al-Ahmar, Israel will bulldoze illusions of peace process

Jonathan Cook on

Israel finally built an access road to the West Bank village of Khan al-Ahmar last week, after half a century of delays. But the only vehicles allowed along it are the bulldozers scheduled to sweep away its 200 inhabitants’ homes. As Bedouin resident Ibrahim Abu Dawoud observed: “For us, leaving the desert is death.”

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

Allison Deger on

Israeli forces began razing buildings in two Palestinian-Bedouin villages today in preparation for taking over the land, alarming human rights groups who say such a move would effectively cut the West Bank into two. Angela Godfrey-Goldstein of Jahalin Solidarity called the move Trump’s gift to Netanyahu for July 4th, while lawmakers from Britain’s Labour party called for a decisive response.

A peaceful evacuation

Hop Wechsler on

Hop Wechsler took the Israel’s High Court of Justice decision approving the demolition of Khan al-Ahmar and the forcible transfer of its residents, members of the Bedouin Jahalin tribe, and turned it into a poem. The resulting verse illuminates the court’s thinking on Israel’s ongoing violation of Palestinian rights.  

The school at Khan al-Ahmar

David Shulman on

“To tear down a school is possibly worse even than breaking a home into pieces and burying the pieces in the sand,” David Shulman writes on a visit to Khan al-Ahmar, a Bedouin village slated for demolition by the Israeli government, in a post for Margaret Olin’s site, Touching Photographs.

Israeli court approves destruction of Bedouin village, despite Congressional and EU protest

Jaclynn Ashly on

The Israeli Supreme Court OK’d a plan to remove Khan al-Ahmar, a Bedouin community of 183 people in the West Bank whose lands are targeted by adjoining Jewish settlements. The human rights group B’Tselem calls the plan a “war crime.” While 74 Congresspeople have urged the Israeli prime minister to respect human rights and not evict the Palestinians.

Israel approves construction to transfer West Bank Bedouin

Allison Deger on

The Israeli government approves a plan to relocate Jahalin Bedouin in al-Khan al-Ahmar to a “dump site” called “Nueimah” near Jericho. The Nueimah plan sets the stage for a future territory swap where Palestinians will lose out on residency rights to geographically key land in exchange for a wasteland in the desert.