Israeli High Court holds hearing to set date for demolition of Khan al-Ahmar

Middle East Monitor  /  February 8, 2023

The Israeli High Court of Justice yesterday criticized the government over its repeated postponement of the demolition of Khan al-Ahmar, local media reported.

According to Jewish NGO Regavim, the High Court of Justice also fined the state 20,000 shekels ($6,000) for failing to meet its submission dates nine times since the original petition was filed in 2019.

The Israeli government asked the court last Wednesday for a four-month extension for submitting its response to a ruling that demanded the implementation of demolition orders against the Palestinian village in the occupied West Bank.

The legal battle over the issue began in 2009, when the Jewish NGO Regavim filed its first petition against the Palestinian Authority’s alleged takeover of Israeli-state land.

Regavim claims that Khan al-Ahmar is located on land belonging to the illegal Jewish settlement of Ma’ale Adumim, east of occupied Jerusalem.

The Israeli High Court of Justice rejected an appeal filed by the Palestinian residents of the village and upheld the lower courts’ rulings ordering it is evacuated.

Previous Israeli governments, including those led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, have asked for postponements. The latest deadline for the government to present a detailed plan for the evacuation was 1 February.

Regavim petitioned the court to issue a final order instructing the state to evacuate the Palestinian village and the court set a hearing date of 1 May to see whether to issue a final evacuation date, and a deadline of 2 April for the state to present its plan to do so.

“The State of Israel must behave like the owner of the house, even in the face of American pressure, otherwise no one in the world will take it seriously,” Revagim said in a statement.

Israel plans to relocate the residents of Khan al-Ahmar to an area near occupied Abu Dis.