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Protests engulf Khan al-Ahmar as Israeli forces gear up for demolition

05 July 2018

It is unclear when Israeli authorities planned to evacuate the residents and demolish the village. Police at the scene said the area had been declared a closed military zone.

"We wanted to show our solidarity with this village which is threatened with destruction, for humanitarian reasons and because it is a major issue of global law", the Consul General of France in Jerusalem, Pierre Cochard, told journalists at the scene.

"The fact that Israel wants to demolish an entire village where its residents have been residing for fifty years for the sole goal of expanding the illegal West Bank settlement of Kfar Adumim is outrageous and inhumane".

General consuls of France (L), Sweden, Belgium, Italy, Ireland, Switzerland, Finland and Denmark are blocked by Israeli police as they want to visit the Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar, east of Jerusalem al-Quds in the occupied West Bank on July 5, 2018.

On Tuesday, activists said, Israel issued orders authorizing the seizure of access roads to the village.

Protesters, including some waving Palestinian flags, tried to block a bulldozer and tussled with police at Khan al-Ahmar, east of Jerusalem. Police said two people were arrested.

The Palestinian Red Crescent reported 35 people wounded, with four taken to the hospital.

In another Bedouin village in the same region, Abu Nuwar, Israel carried out a series of demolitions Wednesday on what it described as illegally built structures.

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Several dozen families from the Bedouin clan of Jahalin moved to the village after their expulsion from the Negev in the 1950s.

Mxakato-Diseko condemned Israel's detention without trial policies, violations of due process, settlement construction, population transfers, forced evictions, home demolitions and Israel's discriminatory planning and zoning policies and collective punishment meted out by the occupying power.

Khan al-Ahmar, which Israeli authorities say was illegally constructed and the supreme court in May rejected a final appeal against its demolition, is located near several Israeli settlements along a road leading to the Dead Sea.

According to Ynet website, critics said it is almost impossible to obtain a construction permit from Israel, and that the village's demolition and the displacement of its 181 residents is a clear plot to build new illegal Israeli settlements.

The European Union and the United Nations have called on the Israeli regime to halt its plan to raze the village, saying such actions are contrary to worldwide law and undermine peace efforts.

Also this morning Israeli authorities were spotted at Jabal West with construction materials.

Senior Palestinian official Hanan Ashrawi said in a statement today that the demolitions are taking place because Israel aims to evict the Bedouins and move Israeli settlers onto the land.

The community is inhabited by 181 Palestinians, more than half of them are children, without basic services, including running water, electricity, health services, and are surrounded by illegal Israeli colonies.

Protests engulf Khan al-Ahmar as Israeli forces gear up for demolition