Court Injunction Delays Demolitions of Jerusalem Area Bedouin Homes

10 May
8:00 PM

The Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Center obtained on Wednesday an injunction order for Khan al-Ahmar Kurshan community. This temporary injunction prevents the demolition of homes of the eight families that received 24-hour eviction notices on Sunday, 6 May.The orders affect the eight families of the community, who have been part of a recent shelter rehabilitation project funded by the international community and designed to replace sub-standard shelter with eight residential structures.

The injunction does not have an expiry date. However, the Israeli Civil Administration has seven days to provide its response to the court regarding this decision. This response will guide any further decisions of the court.

The Kurshan families have used this location seasonally since the 1960s, and have been permanent residents in their current location since 1992.

The ICA officers informed those present in the community that “the community had built illegally, and that Area C was not for Palestinians.”

The Palestinian-Bedouin communities living in the hills to the east of Jerusalem are at a large and growing risk of forced ethnic displacement and have been informed by Israeli authorities that they have no option but to leave the area. This move is part of a larger plan to forcibly transfer, in defiance of international law, Bedouin communities living in Area C, specifically the Jerusalem periphery, Jordan Valley, and south Hebron Hills, where Israel retains control over security as well as planning and zoning.

Furthermore, the ICA informed. on May 3, the az-Zayyem Arab al-Jahalin Bedouin community that a demolition will take place in their community, effective immediately, following the lifting of an injunction order protecting the structures. These are also structures funded by the international community, following demolitions in November 2011.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Israeli Coalition Against House Demolition released information about the imminent demolitions of EU-funded structures in the Khan al-Ahmar Kurshan community and in the az-Zayyem compound east of Jerusalem.

After lobbying by ICAHD and others in the UK and Europe, the British Government stated that senior British ministers were in discussion with British officials in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv as well as with EU officials who were keeping fully updated on the situation. The government position was stated as follows:

“The UK continues to encourage the Israeli Government to carry through on this commitment, to comply fully with their obligations under international law, and to ensure that any decision reached on the movement of Bedouin communities should be made with their full consent and not result in a forcible transfer.”

EU Foreign Ministers are gathering in Brussels for a meeting on May 14. They will discuss issues including the demolition of Palestinian homes, forced displacement and the expansion of illegal Israeli settlements in Area C of the West Bank which threaten Palestinian economic development.

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William Temple

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