Khan Al-Ahmar was today once again flooded with waste water by illegal Israeli settlers, as Israeli army bulldozers stormed the village.
Sources from Khan Al-Ahmar told Wafa that “the wastewater from the [illegal Kfar Adumim] settlement flooded large areas of village lands, as settlers attempt to aid their government in its drive to force the village residents to leave”. Wafa added that the wastewater was a “serious environmental and health hazard for village residents and hundreds of supporters who are on constant vigil at the condemned village”.
This is the second time this month settlers have attacked Khan Al-Ahmar in this way. On 2 October illegal settlers, again from Kfar Adumim, stormed the village and, despite being confronted by activists and residents, managed to flood the area with wastewater. Local Palestinians shared images of the flooding on social media, with the waste water clearly visible against the otherwise arid landscape.
Also today, Israeli occupation forces stormed the village with three military bulldozers. The vehicles were deployed on the Jerusalem-Jericho road, where Khan Al-Ahmar is located, according to Palestine News Network (PNN). PNN added that “the residents of the area and the Popular Resistance committee confronted the raid, during which IOF [Israeli occupation forces] arrested one of the young men who stood up to the bulldozers”.
PNN also published a video in which Israeli occupation forces can be seen gathering at the now-famous entrance to Khan Al-Ahmar, a tunnel under Israel’s bypass road that cuts the village off from the surrounding area. Soldiers can then be seen violently rounding up activists as they attempt to stop the bulldozers.
Khan Al-Ahmar was slated for demolition on 1 October but as yet remains standing. On Thursday, the Israeli army was deployed in large numbers around the village, with local sources saying more than 30 battalions were stationed at the gates and roads leading to the village. The leadership of the Israeli civil administration, the Israeli body which administers the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt), were also seen on a nearby hilltop with maps in their hands.
Both the Israeli government and the illegal settlers in the area surrounding Khan Al-Ahmar have worked to pressure the village’s inhabitants to leave by making their living conditions unbearable. According to Israeli human rights organisation B’Tselem, if successful “this would violate the prohibition on forcible transfer set out in international humanitarian law. Such a violation constitutes a war crime”. B’Tselem adds that “not only the policymakers […] will bear personal liability for the commission of this crime [but] those who paved the legal road bear equal liability.”
Khan Al-Ahmar is home to some 173 Al-Jahhalin Bedouins who are refugees from the Negev desert. They have lived in the area east of Jerusalem 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.