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Hamas slams Israel’s ‘ethnic cleansing’ of Khan Al-Ahmar

January 24, 2023 at 11:16 am

Hamas spokesman Hazem Qasem [Palestine news/Facebook]

The Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement criticised on Monday Israel’s plan to forcibly displace the residents of the Bedouin village of Khan Al-Ahmar, east of occupied Jerusalem, describing it as “ethnic cleansing” by the occupation state.

“The [Israeli] occupation’s announcement of its intention to deport the residents of Khan Al-Ahmar in Jerusalem is not new,” said the movement’s spokesman, Hazem Qassem. “Displacing the owners who have the right to the land is a racist policy practised by the Israeli occupation government in favour of expanding the illegal settlements.”

Qassem stressed that the Palestinian masses who came out on Monday to support Khan Al-Ahmar villagers demonstrated that the land is Palestinian and Israel cannot expel the Palestinians from it.

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Israel’s extreme far-right National Security Minister, Itamar Ben Gvir, demanded during the weekly cabinet session on Sunday that Khan Al-Ahmar should be demolished and the community expelled. Israel has been given the legal green light by the High Court to demolish the homes of residents in Khan Al-Ahmar to make way for Jew-only settlements. A new date for the eviction of the residents of the village has been set for 1 February.

The Bedouin village of Khan Al-Ahmar is located near the illegal settlements of Ma’ale Adumim and Kfar Adumim. It covers an area of ten acres wherein 40 families live in tents and makeshift corrugated iron homes, as well as caravans funded by the European Union. The village is a lifeline for all Bedouin communities in the east of Jerusalem; it has one school for 200 boys and girls from these other communities. If it is destroyed, it will be easy for the occupation authorities to control all of the communities.

The demolition process will pave the way for the implementation of the E-1 project which aims to separate the West Bank into two parts, and separate the occupied city of Jerusalem from the West Bank.

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