Israeli forces demolish protest camp in Palestinian village

Israeli forces demolish protest camp in Palestinian village
Israeli forces have demolished five Palestinian caravans set in Khan al-Ahmar in the early hours of Thursday.
2 min read
13 September, 2018
Khan al-Ahmar is due to be demolished [Getty]

Israeli forces have demolished five makeshift shelters that had been set up by Palestinian activists protesting the anticipated razing of the Khan al-Ahmar village.

Protest leader Abdullah Abu Rahmeh said around 200 Israeli soldiers stormed into the area of the Khan al-Ahmar encampment in the early hours of Thursday, dismantled the shacks and loaded the parts onto trucks.

Protesters chanted "out, out, terrorist army," as the trucks and soldiers left after daybreak.

Last week, Israel’s Supreme Court rejected appeals to raze Khan al-Ahmar in the occupied West Bank and announced the demolition will go ahead, in a move that sparked outrage across the world.

"We reject the petitions" against the directive to demolish Khan al-Ahmar, the Supreme Court panel said in its decree, adding that a temporary order preventing the razing of the village during court hearings "will be cancelled within seven days from today."

The temporary order expired on Wednesday and Israel is now able to demolish the occupied village whenever it pleases, putting its population of 173 civilians, including 92 children at risk.

The residents of the village are being given two options for relocation, one of which is to live by a landfill in Abu Dis until a structure next to a sewage plant close to Jericho can be arranged.

‘Built without a permit’

The village, which sprawls in the dust at the edge of a highway leading to the Dead Sea and is close to several major Israeli settlements, is being demolished on grounds of being built without a permit.

Activists say the villagers had little alternative but to construct the camp without Israeli construction permits, which are almost never issued to Palestinians in occupied territories.

Applying for building permits also comes with various taxes and fees that amount to tens of thousands of dollars - an unaffordable move for many Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, where 27 percent live under the poverty line.

 Agencies contributed to this report.