The Israeli High Court of Justice has approved the planned demolition of the village of Jahalin at Khan al-Ahmar in the West Bank, along with the village’s school made out of tires.
The Israeli occupation High Court has allowed the Israel army to Demolish Entire West Bank Bedouin Village, Ending Year-long Legal Battle.
The decision does not include a specific time limit, which means that the occupation authorities can implement the demolition at any moment.
For its part the Palestinian presidency condemned on Thursday an Israeli court’s decision to demolish and uproot the Bedouin community of Khan al-Ahmar in the Jordan Valley, about 15 kilometers to the east of Jerusalem.
“This policy of ethnic cleansing is considered to be the worst form of racial discrimination, which has become the predominant feature of the practices and decisions of the Israeli government and its various instruments,” said the presidency in a press statement referring to the Israeli decision.
The statement continued, “The only objective of this abhorrent racist policy is to uproot the legal Palestinian citizens from their land to control it and to replace them with strange settlers.”
The presidency called upon the United Nations and the signatories to the Geneva Conventions and other international institutions to take urgent action to prevent this ‘racist’ decision and to provide international protection to the Palestinian people.
Israeli occupation authorities plan to demolish the village to expand settlements and human rights groups are warning that such move consider as war crime under international law.
Israel issued expulsion orders to residents of Khan al-Ahmar multiple times in the past year, even though legal proceedings were ongoing in Israeli courts.
Israeli authorities were waiting for the high court’s blessings to complete the forcible transfer by April.
About a week before the hearing, Jamie McGoldrick, the top UN humanitarian official in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, visited Khan al-Ahmar and called on Israeli authorities “to respect their legal obligations, as the occupying power, including through stopping the demolition of Palestinian-owned structures and ceasing plans for the relocation of Palestinian Bedouin communities.”
On Tuesday, Chris Gunness, spokesperson for UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestine refugees, pointed to the impossibility of the Israeli high court’s requirement that the residents of Khan al-Ahmar come up with a plan for their own displacement within a week.
“No such plans exist and the request itself is entirely unfeasible in the context of the discriminatory planning regime in Area C,” Gunness stated, noting that the residents “do not want to be compelled to relocate to an alternative site.”