Supreme Court urges Israel government to clarify position on evacuation of Khan al-Ahmar

Palestinian Bedouin school children walk in the village of Khan al-Ahmar in the occupied West Bank (Shadi Hatem - APA Images)

Middle  East Monitor  /  July 22, 2021

The Supreme Court of Israel has given Naftali Bennett’s government a deadline until next September to clarify its position on the evacuation order issued to the Palestinian Bedouin community of Khan al-Ahmar in occupied East Jerusalem.

The text of the court’s decision issued yesterday stated that the court has granted the government until 5 September to render its position regarding carrying out the order to evacuate Khan al-Ahmar community, adding that this would not be extended again.

On 5 September 2018, the Supreme Court issued a final decision to demolish and evict the inhabitants of Khan al-Ahmar, after rejecting the residents’ petition against their eviction, forced displacement and the demolition of the community, which is mostly made up of tents and houses made of corrugated iron.

The previous Israeli government postponed the demolition, pending a solution with the residents, while the Palestinians and the international community warned against implementing the eviction order.

Israel considers the land where the Bedouin community is located “state land”, and says that it was “built without permission,” which the residents deny.

About 190 Palestinians from the Jahalin Bedouin community, descendants of those displaced from the Negev in 1948, live in the community that has been in place since the early 1950s.

Khan al-Ahmar community is surrounded by a number of Jewish settlements; it is located within the area targeted by occupation authorities to establish the E1 settlement project.

The E1 project includes the construction of thousands of settlement units on large areas of the Palestinian territory for the purpose of linking the Ma’ale Adumim settlement to occupied Jerusalem.

Palestinians warn that carrying out the demolition will pave the way for establishing settlement projects to isolate East Jerusalem from its surroundings and dividing the West Bank.