The High Court of Justice ruled on Thursday night that the West Bank Palestinian Beduin herding village of Khan al-Ahmar and its adjacent school can be demolished.
“The court has washed its hand of the Beduin,” the village’s attorney Shlomo Lecker told The Jerusalem Post after the receiving the written verdict.
The ruling ends a nine-year legal battle for the 52 families that live in the small village of shacks and tents, perched on a small hillside off of Route 1 near the Ma’aleh Adumim and Kfar Adumim settlements.
Many of the families that live there belong to the Jahalin tribe that originally lived in the Negev
until Israel relocated them to the Ma’aleh Adumim area in the early 1950s.
European Union representatives address the razing of Beduin village Khan al-Ahmar (Tovah Lazaroff)
On Thursday, the court upheld a plan by the state to relocate the families to an area called Jahalin West, located near the town of Abu Dis, just outside of Jerusalem.
In its ruling, the justices said that the key issue here was that the construction was clearly illegal.
British Consul General in Jerusalem Philip Hall expresses Britain's concerns regarding the razing of Khan al-Ahmar (Tovah Lazaroff)
The case of the school and the village has garnered international attention.
Last week, a European Union delegation composed of officials stationed in Jerusalem and Ramallah visited the village.
“The EU heads of missions are deeply concerned” about the pending demolition, the EU said, adding that it was particularly concerned about the fate of the school, which services 170 children from five nearby communities.
“Several structures in the community, including the school, have been funded by the EU or EU member states. A demolition of the school would severely impact on Palestinian children’s right to education,” it said.
“Displacing the community would be in contravention with Israel’s obligations as an occupying power under international humanitarian law,” the EU added.