The Israeli government informed the High Court on Sunday that it intends to evacuate the residents of the Bedouin village of Khan Al-Ahmar in East Jerusalem by the middle of 2018, Israel’s Haaretz newspaper reported.
The Bedouin village of Khan Al-Ahmar is strategically significant for Israel because it lies in the area between Jerusalem and the settlements of Ma’aleh Adumim, East of Jerusalem.
The Israeli Supreme Court is considering two petitions, the first was filed by settlers in the area demanding the village is demolished and the second was filed by the villagers in protest to the demolition orders against their homes.
In its response to the petitions Israel said it offered the village residents to rebuild their community in an area that lies eight kilometres from the village which is less strategically important for Israel. Israel has asked the court to cancel the petitions saying it will take a series of realistic measures to provide alternatives to the villagers including transferring the village school to the new location.
However, Palestinians in the area have rejected the Israeli proposal to move saying the new area does not suit their nomadic lifestyle, noting that another nomadic tribe already lives in the proposed area.
The Israeli government proposed in its response letter to the High Court that the residents demolished their own houses.
Hundreds of Palestinians live in Khan Al-Ahmar in extreme poverty and without infrastructure, and in temporary houses built of tin, wood and plastic.
The international community, including the former US administration headed by Barack Obama, have protested against the evacuation plan.
However, recently, Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that he intends to end the work of the special team tasked with following up on the subject and to demolish the village within several months.