The demolition of the illegal Palestinian Bedouin herding village of Khan al-Ahmar has been delayed until at least mid-August.
Bulldozers had rolled into the village last week to smooth out the roads needed to bring heavy vehicles to raze the tents and shacks perched on the sandy hill overlooking Route 1 outside of Jerusalem.In a last ditch effort to save the community of 52 families, who are members of the Jahalin Bedouin tribe, five attorneys filed two petitions with the High Court of Justice, which had already ruled that the homes could be removed.The High Court also said that the adjacent Rubber Tyre school, built with European funds primarily through an Italian NGO called Vento di Terra, could also be taken down.On Thursday, the court accepted the first petition and set a hearing date for no later than August 15.Its stance on a second petition filed early this week is still pending.The Palestinian Authority, which operates the school, plans to open it this coming Sunday as a protest move to help ensure that it will not be taken down.The army has declared the school and the village a closed military zone. Israel Police and Border Police worked during the week to keep outsiders from accessing the village. A pending Civil Administration strike could also impact the village’s fate because there would be no staff member to carry out the demotion.
Protests erupt at the Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar that Israel plans to demolish, July 4, 2018 (Reuters)
The United Nations and the European Union have advocated on behalf of the village and asked Israel to prevent its destruction.Israel moved the Jahalin to the West Bank from the Negev in the early 1950s. It now wants to move the Khan al-Ahmar village, located just outside of Kfar Adumim to a neighborhood of the town of Abu Dis, called Jahalin West.
European Union representatives address the razing of Beduin village Khan al-Ahmar (Tovah Lazaroff)