The demolition of Bedouin villages is postponed temporarily


The decision was announced after a meeting of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's security cabinet. They maintain that razing the village is part of an Israeli plan to make room to expand Jewish settlements so they would, in effect, divide the occupied West Bank, thus further fragmenting the territory sought for a future Palestinian state.

On a visit to the ramshackle hamlet, which lies on the north side of the Route 1 highway that heads east from Jerusalem toward the Dead Sea, Hamdallah thanked the residents for their "steadfast and nonviolent opposition to the Israeli occupation".

Israel has come under heavy criticism, with major European countries urging it to avoid the demolition of Khan al-Ahmar.

On Wednesday, the International Criminal Court's chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, said in a statement that Israel's planned "evacuation by force" of Khan al-Ahmar could constitute a war crime.

For nearly four months, Palestinians have engaged in weekly protests in the village against Israel's plan to demolish it and displace its residents.

The fate of the village has captured worldwide attention for its years-long legal battle with Israeli authorities over its survival.

The fate of Khan al-Ahmar has drawn worldwide concern, with European countries calling on Israel not to move ahead with plans to demolish it and expressing concern over the impact its razing would have on the two-state solution. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief reporters.

A few days ago, Army Radio reported that Netanyahu had received a message from the residents saying they would be willing to move to the lands of the village of 'Anata, located 2.5 miles northeast of Jerusalem's Old City, following which Netanyahu said "the proposal will be examined".

But Palestinians say building permits are impossible to obtain, in contrast to the rapid expansion of Jewish-only Israeli settlements, which are illegal under global law.

Palestinians, who lost an Israeli Supreme Court appeal against the evacuation, say such documents are impossible to obtain.

Palestinian Authority's Colonization and Settlements Resistance leader said he does not trust the news that the demolition of Al-khan Al-Ahmad Bedouin village was putting off and the ongoing popular sit-in will be continued.

The plan, which began in 2005 and has vastly expanded Israeli colonial settlements on Palestinian lands, is set to displace hundreds of thousands of Palestinian residents from their homes and add them to the Palestinian refugee population - the largest refugee population in the world.

This article has been adapted from its original source.