Global news – United States – Israel postpones demolition of Bedouin village in West Bank amid coronavirus crisis


Government tells High Court, which gave the green light for demolition in 2018, that it will not evict Khan al-Ahmar until an ‘acceptable’ plan is formulated

The Israeli government has said it will not demolish the Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar in the West Bank over the next four months due to the coronavirus pandemic and in order to give time to work out « a nice plan »To relocate the Palestinian residents of the village

Khan al-Ahmar is home to dozens of Bedouin families from the Jahalin tribe who were expelled from the Negev after Israel’s creation in 1948

In 2018, Israel’s High Court of Justice paved the way for the village’s demolition, with its residents garnering international support, including from the International Criminal Court ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda then said that the eviction from the village could constitute a war crime and that she would not hesitate to take action if necessary

The government statement followed a petition filed last year with the High Court of Justice by right-wing Israeli NGO Regavim The petition called for a court order requiring the government to set a timetable for the eviction of the village

Regavim is a pro-settler group founded in 2006 by far-right lawmaker Bezalel Smotrich to promote « Israeli sovereignty » in the West Bank It aims to ensure « responsible, legal, responsible and environmentally friendly use of national lands of Israel and the return of the rule of law in all areas and aspects of the territory »

It is not clear what the « acceptable plan » of resettlement referred to by the government might contain In the past, the government offered the residents of Khan al-Ahmar an alternative site in the West Bank near the landfill of the Palestinian town of Abu Dis The government subsequently proposed another site near a sewage treatment plant near the West Bank Jewish settlement of Mitzpeh Yeriho Villagers rejected both offers

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu repeatedly pledged to evict the village In November 2018 he went so far as to say it would happen « very soon » In 2019, during a period of political instability in Israel and in the midst of repeated elections, the government informed the court that the eviction would be postponed at least until a new government was formed

In September, the government asked the court to postpone the hearing of the case for six months due to the pandemic and what it described as « the current moment of security diplomacy. In response, the judge Noam Sohlberg of the High Court called the request « embarrassing » and while criticizing the government’s conduct, granted a two-month stay

Responding to the government’s decision to delay the eviction, Regavim said: “The state’s purported commitment to enforce the law and engage in dialogue with residents is no different from previous statements at the High Court Each time, another card is drawn from the pile of excuses preventing the fulfillment of state declarations We wonder if Netanyahu has become confused between what he cannot and does not want to do?  »

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Israel, Palestine, West Bank, Palestinians, Nablus, Israeli colony

News from around the world – United States – Israel postpones demolition of Bedouin village in West Bank amid crisis coronavirus


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