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Israel court slams government for delay in demolishing Palestinian village

Israeli occupation orders the demolition of a Palestinian house because it was overlooking the illegal Israeli settlement of Pisgat Ze’ev [Shehab Agency]
Israeli occupation orders the demolition of Palestinian houses [Shehab Agency]

The Israeli government and the country's High Court of Justice are in dispute over the demolition of Khan Al-Ahmar, a Palestinian village near Jerusalem in the occupied West Bank, which is obstructing the expansion of Jewish only illegal settlements.

The court has slammed the government's request for another postponement of the demolition of the village as "embarrassing".

A hearing over the demolition of Khan Al-Ahmar was meant to take place at the end of this month where the state was meant to explain to the court why it had failed to demolish the homes of some 180 members of Al-Jahhalin Bedouins. As a result of the Nakba, which saw Israel lead a campaign of ethnic cleansing against the indigenous Palestinian community, Al-Jahhalin Bedouins have been spread across 26 communities in the area, all facing the threat of demolition.

READ: Sharp decrease in number of building permits granted to Palestinians by Israel

The Israeli government, however, requested a postponement of six months citing the spread of the coronavirus and diplomatic issues. The court ruled that it would delay the hearing by another two months, after which it is expected that Israeli bulldozers will move in to demolish Palestinian homes.

This is the second postponement in just over a year. In June 2019the unexpected election scheduled for September 2019 was the reasons given for the delay in the planned demolition of Khan Al-Ahmar.

With their position in the so-called E1 area, where an Israeli settlement expansion project is planned along the Jerusalem-Jericho road, Palestinian communities in Khan Al-Ahmar have battled for their existence for decades.

Israeli occupation forces maintain that the homes must be demolished because they were built without the impossible to attain building permits. Meanwhile, the nearby illegal Israeli settlement of Ma'ale Adumim has been growing since 1975, it is now home to more than 37,000 illegal Israeli settlers.

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