Thursday, February 2, 2023

Israel is seeking delay of Palestinian eviction from Israeli-controlled areas in the West Bank - Danielle Hodes


by Danielle Hodes

Israel's Supreme Court approved the demolition in 2018, which has since been delayed by Netanyahu and his successors.


The Israeli government is asking to delay demolishing the illegal West Bank Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar. 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Saturday plans to expand Jewish settlements in the Israeli-controlled areas of the West Bank, where Khan al-Ahmar is located. The proclamation came after a week of violence and terrorism in the region, including the deadliest raid in the West Bank in two decades in pursuit of an Islamic Jihad terrorist group, according to the Israel Defense Forces, and the deadliest Palestinian attack on Jerusalem residents since 2008, killing seven citizens leaving Friday night services.  

Israel claims the village was illegally built in Area C, the Israeli-controlled land that encompasses 60% of the West Bank. The new government of Israel is pushing to evict the village and strengthen Jewish settlements in the area. 

Israel's Supreme Court approved the demolition in 2018, which has since been delayed by Netanyahu and his successors. 

Netanyahu asked to delay the evacuation again by four months following U.S Secretary of State Antony Blinken's visit to Israel and Ramallah on Tuesday. Blinken outwardly opposed demolitions and evictions of Palestinian structures in Area C because, he said, they make a two-state solution "further from reach."

When asked by CNN on Tuesday what concessions he was prepared to make to the Palestinians, Netanyahu replied, "Well, I'm certainly willing to have them have all the powers that they need to govern themselves. But none of the powers that could threaten (us) and this means that Israel should have the overriding security responsibility." 

The inconsistent news of an eviction has left some Khan al-Ahmar settlers in distress. "They say the bulldozers will come tomorrow, next month, next year," said Maha Ali to the Associated Press. "Our life is frozen."

According to the Jewish News Syndicate (JNS), Israel has made an investment of more than $23 million into a relocation site for the residents of Khan al-Ahmar, where they have already prepared "infrastructure, roads, electricity, water, sewage, a health clinic and school all on state land."

Danielle Hodes


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