Israeli settlers pushing for Israel to demolish Khan Al-Ahmar Bedouin village: reports

Israeli settlers pushing for Israel to demolish Khan Al-Ahmar Bedouin village: reports
Israeli media had reported that the government was looking to raze and relocate the village of Khan Al-Ahmar by the end of 2022.
3 min read
West Bank
17 February, 2022
Khan Al-Ahmar has faced the threat of demolition since a 2018 Israeli supreme court order [Getty]

Leaders of Israeli settler groups are pushing for the Israeli government to demolish a Palestinian Bedouin village east of Jerusalem, local media and Palestinian observers have said.

Settler leaders want the government to follow through on their plan to raze the village of Khan Al-Ahmar and re-install it some 300 metres away, Israeli media reported Tuesday.

The Israeli supreme court gave the government the green light to demolish Khan Al-Ahmar in 2018, to international condemnation. Criticism grew louder after Israeli forces repeatedly arrested and dispersed activists who protested the ruling. 

Khan Al-Ahmar is located some 16 kilometers southeast of Jerusalem, on the Israeli highway between Jerusalem and the Jordan Valley. It sits in the middle of the Israeli settlement project known as ‘E-1’, which aims to connect Jerusalem to settlements to the city's east.

The Israeli government's plan to raze and relocate the village by the end of 2022 was first reported on by Israel's Channel 12 late last month.

The spokesperson for Khan Al-Ahmar families, Eid Jahalin, told The New Arab that “Israeli authorities haven’t informed the families of the new plan”.

“Moving the village 300 meters across the road is unrealistic," Jahalin said. "We think that the alleged plan is an attempt by the Israeli government to appear as if they were giving us a choice, only to forcibly demolish the village later”.

Israeli settlers have been harassing the families in the community in recent weeks, Jahalin said.

“They send filming drones at night that come very close to the houses. During the day, the settlers’ drones chase our children around in and around the village”.

A Palestinian anti-settlement campaigner said plans for Khan Al-Ahmar are part of the broader Israeli settlement expansion project.

“We estimate that the Israeli government will try to accomplish parts of the E-1 project during 2022, which means it will be a very difficult year for Bedouin communities east of Jerusalem, including Khan Al-Ahmar,” Jamal Jumaa, coordinator for Stop The Wall told The New Arab.

“International pressure delayed the Israeli settlement project north of Jerusalem, on the lands of the former Jerusalem airport, but the project has not stopped. The E-1 project and the removal of Khan Al-Ahmar is the other part of the same larger project to encircle Jerusalem. Logically it is the next step on the Israeli agenda,” Jumaa said.

Israel last month approved the building of 3,700 settlement units south of Bethlehem. Some are located over the Green Line, Israel’s internationally recognised 1948 border - effectively erasing it.