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Israel delays demolition of West Bank village until December

June 18, 2019 at 12:23 pm

Israeli forces can be seen violently attacking Palestinians as they evict them from their homes in Khan Al-Ahmar village of Jerusalem on 4 July 2018 [Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency]

Israel’s planned demolition of Khan Al-Ahmar, a village near Jerusalem in the occupied West Bank, will be postponed until at least mid-December, reported Haaretz.

The new delay was revealed in the state’s response to a petition filed by a right-wing pressure group at the Supreme Court.

According to a document submitted to the court on Sunday, Israeli authorities said that the delay was necessary on the basis of the unexpected new elections scheduled for September, after which there will be a new government.

“The timing of the eviction will be set by the government, with attention to all the necessary considerations,” it added.

READ: Israel denies Palestinians, PA officials access to Khan Al-Ahmar

The petition was filed by Regavim, an organisation which takes legal action against so-called “illegal” Palestinian construction (discriminatory Israeli policies routinely deny Palestinians permits).

“The petition asked the court to order the government to justify its refusal to carry out the demolition order against Khan Al-Ahmar, and set a timetable for the eviction,” Haaretz reported.

“The state also asked the court to give it until December 16 to respond to this petition, since whatever new government is formed will need time to consider its decision,” it added.

Khan Al-Ahmar resident, ‘We are imprisoned here’

In a television interview before April’s election, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was asked why he had not yet destroyed Khan Al-Ahmar.

“It will be done very soon,” he responded. “I promised, and it will be done extremely soon.”

In response to the latest delay, Israeli opposition figure Moshe Ya’alon criticised the government for not having yet completed the eviction of Khan Al-Ahmar’s residents.