7 Things You Need to Know About Khan al-Ahmar
Ethnic Cleansing Continues in Occupied Palestine:
The Demolition of Bedouin Village Khan al-Ahmar
1. On Wednesday, July 4, Israeli forces arrived with bulldozers and military vehicles to begin demolishing two Palestinian Bedouin Villages, Khan al-Ahmar, which has a total population of about 1400 people, and Abu a-Nuwar, which is home to approximately 600 Palestinian Bedouins. A total of nine homes and three farm buildings were demolished in Abu a-Nuwar, with more expected to have taken place overnight, presumably after media and human rights observers had gone home.
2. The decision to demolish the Bedouin communities was approved in May by Israel’s High Court of Justice despite the clear violation of international law against forcible transfer.
3. Israel’s ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in Khan al-Ahmar has been met with global condemnation since the removal of these communities would no longer make a Palestinian state viable. Khan al-Ahmar is located to the east of Jerusalem and deep into the West Bank. Abu a-Nuwar is located near the Ma'ale Adumim settlement. A statement issued by the French Foreign Ministry denounced the demolition as undermining any prospects for a solution and creating even more precarious living conditions for the Palestinian residents. "The villages are also located in an area which is essential for the continuity of a future Palestinian state and thus the viability of the two-state solution, which has been undermined today by the Israeli authorities’ decisions," the statement said.
4. The Palestinian Red Crescent Society reported that at least 35 people were injured, four of whom were hospitalized, by Israeli police yesterday. In dozens of videos uploaded to social media channels, Israeli police officers can be seen violently assaulting—punching, kicking, and stepping on—Palestinian residents protesting their removal, including women and children. Nine people were arrested, five from the village and four others protesting the demolition. [WATCH VIDEOS HERE, HERE, HERE, AND HERE]
5. According to Israeli human rights group, B’Tselem, the impacted Bedouin communities are scattered on both sides of the Jerusalem-Jericho road, east of the industrial zone of the Ma’ale Adumim settlement, and on either side of Route 437, which connects the village of Hizma with the main road. Residents of these communities have almost no source of income, suffer a serious lack of health, education and welfare services, and live without basic infrastructure such as sewage, electricity, and proper roads.
6. Members of the Khan al-Ahmar and Abu a-Nuwar communities belong to the Jahalin Bedouin tribe, and were among the original inhabitants of Tel Arad in the Negev desert, from which they were expelled by Israeli forces in 1952. After settling in the area where the Kfar Adumim settlement in the West Bank is now located, these communities were once again expelled from their homes to make room for more settlements. Today, they are being forcibly removed for the third time to allow for the expansion of illegal settlements in the West Bank.
7. The residents of Khan al-Ahmar are being told to relocate to a garbage dump in Abu Dis. This location is said to be unsuitable to the Bedouin community’s traditional way of life, which requires larger spaces of land for their animals to graze. Residents of Khan al-Ahmar have additionally reported that other Bedouins who were previously transferred to that area warned them against going there. They are being violently removed despite their protests.