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#KhanAlAhmar

Israel’s demolition of Al-Khan Al-Ahmar - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]
Israel’s demolition of Al-Khan Al-Ahmar - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

The case of Khan Al-Ahmar has been drawing the attention of politicians, activists and human rights defenders across the world. Israeli authorities issued a demolition order against the Bedouin village giving residents until 1 October to demolish their homes or risk having to pay authorities to demolish them.

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.

Activists have said plans to demolish the village pave the way for the expansion of nearby settlements Ma’ale Adumim and Kfar Adumim, two illegal Jewish-only settlements situated on the Jerusalem-Jericho road.

READ: Israel settlers flood Khan Al-Ahmar with waste water

As several days have passed since the October deadline, online activists have been using the hashtag #KhanAlAhmar in an effort to raise awareness of the “war crime” which Palestinian Bedouin are being threatened with.

The UN is among those calling on Israel “to cease demolition” which “undermine prospect for two state solution and are against international law”.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel was said to have warned Israel that she would cancel her planned trip to the country if Khan Al-Ahmar was demolished. Activists were quick to condemn her remarks as only a temporary fix to an ongoing human rights issue.

While others applauded Merkel’s intervention at a time when opposition figures in Israel remain silent on the issue.

Amnesty International called on Israel’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the [Occupied] Territories (COGAT) to “stop the demolition” and the other “#warcrimes”.

Twitter user James Anderson urged the head of COGAT “to find your humanity and refuse demolition orders”.

Activists from Palestine and across the world tweeted their frustration at the decision, saddened by their helplessness as Israel continues unabated with its “colonial settlement project”.

READ: Imminent demolition of Khan Al-Ahmar ‘heartless’ and a ‘war crime’

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