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.
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.
As the destruction of their homes grows more imminent, the villagers of Khan al-Ahmar have appealed to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who will be visiting Israel this week, to stop the demolitions.
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 European Parliament passed a resolution on Thursday saying Israel’s planned demolition of Khan al-Ahmar would amount to a war crime, and demanded Israel compensate the EU for the demolition of EU-funded structures in the village.
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.”
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.
As the long-fought battle to save the village of Khan al-Ahmar from demolition continues, another fight is taking place on the sidelines — one that could have life changing effects on the fate of the Bedouins in Khan al-Ahmar, and the future of the occupied West Bank.
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.”
The nightmare that Khan al-Ahmar’s 200 residents have feared for over 10 years seems about to become a reality: Israel is preparing its demolition of the Bedouin village east of Jerusalem despite pleas from the British consulate, the European Union, and the UN.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
A call on David Friedman, nominee for ambassador to Israel, to oppose the Israeli demolition of Palestinian villages in the occupied West Bank
Palestinians deliver toys to Jahalin Bedouin children living in four unrecognized villages in the Jerusalem hills under pressure to relocate to reservations near waste removal facilities.
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.
‘Forcible transfer’ is the measure Israel has adopted for 27,000 Palestinian Bedouins living in Area C in territory filled with settlements