Israeli settlers yesterday flooded Khan Al-Ahmar with waste water, storming the Palestinian Bedouin village and confronting residents.
The settlers came from the illegal Israeli settlement of Kfar Adumim, located east of Jerusalem in the occupied West Bank. They stormed the village of Khan Al-Ahmar but were confronted by international and local activists, along with residents of the village, the Palestine Chronicle reported. However, the settlers “managed to flood the area with wastewater before activists and residents were able to stop them,” the report added.
Local Palestinians shared images of the flooding on social media, with the waste water clearly visible against the otherwise arid landscape.
Khan Al-Ahmar has been slated for demolition this week, after an Israeli court gave the residents of the village until 1 October to evacuate their homes. The demolition is expected imminently, with the delay thought to be due only to Jewish holidays taking place earlier this week.
The demolition has been delayed repeatedly, with appeals submitted to the Israeli High Court against the plans. In August, the legal representative for Khan Al-Ahmar Tawfiq Jabareen presented evidence that the village is not illegal in an attempt to save the site from demolition, but to no avail. Israel has remained determined to carry out the eviction, with reports emerging that the plan forms part of a larger strategy to clear Bedouin villages to make way for a contiguous area of illegal Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank.
Earlier today Israel’s Army Radio reported that German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is due to arrive in Israel this evening, has threatened to cancel her visit if the demolition goes ahead. Merkel’s visit to Israel has been repeatedly postponed in the past 18 months due to disagreements over Israel’s continued policy of illegal settlement and its treatment of Palestinians.
Human rights organisations have also decried the planned demolition, with Amnesty International stressing earlier this week that destroying the village would constitute a war crime. Amnesty’s statement explained that:
Israel’s policies of settling Israeli civilians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, wantonly destroying property and forcibly transferring Palestinians living under occupation, violate the Fourth Geneva Convention and are war crimes listed in the statute of the International Criminal Court.
Amnesty added: “Since 1967, Israel has forcibly evicted and displaced entire communities and demolished more than 50,000 Palestinian homes and structures.”
Situated east of Jerusalem in the occupied West Bank, Khan Al-Ahmar is home to Al-Jahhalin Bedouins who are refugees from the Negev desert. They have lived in the area since their displacement by the Israeli army in 1967. Israel has refused to recognise Al-Jahhalin Bedouin communities or grant them building permits, a strategy often used by Israel to term any Bedouin home illegal.