Thousands, on Wednesday, waved Palestinian flags and chanted slogans in protest against the Israeli plan to demolish Khan Al-Ahmar Bedouin village and replace it with illegal Israeli settlement units.
Protesters included Palestinian citizens who came from cities all over the West Bank, in addition to Palestinian leaders and public figures who addressed the crowd.
Head of the Wall and Settlements Resistance Authority, Walid Assaf spoke to the residents of Khan al-Ahmar, ensuring them that the protesters, who arrived in solidarity, will not stop supporting the village until the demolition plans have ended.
“The issue of Khan al-Ahmar is not an issue of several hundred people,” Assaf said, according to the PNN. “Rather it is an issue of the entire Palestinian people.”
Khan al-Ahmar is a predominately Bedouin village made of members from the Jahalin tribe, according to B’Tselem. The Jahalin were displaced twice, once from the Negev desert of Israel proper and again from the area where the illegal Israeli settlement “Kfar Adumim” occupies, before finally arriving in Khan al-Ahmar.
The area planned for demolition in Khan al-Ahmar is approximately 2 kilometers south of Kfar Adumim, where Israel’s supreme court has approved the construction of hundreds of units, according to International Middle East Media Center.
The plans to demolish the village comes after years of attempts to coerce the residents to leave their homes. Head of Khan al-Ahmar village council Eid Abu Dahouk said that Israel has made efforts to coerce the residents from their land for years. This coercion comes through military orders, economic strangulation and attacks from Jewish settlers.
The Israeli High Court granted permission to the Israeli Minister of Defense for the demolition of the Khan al-Ahmar village in May of this year. The court cited building without the necessary permits as grounds for demolition.
Al Jazeera reported that between 2000 and 2007, only six percent of permits were granted in Area C of Palestine’s West Bank, making legitimate construction near Khan al-Ahmar nearly impossible.
Israel’s E1 plan, which is attempting to connect the enormous Ma’aleh Adumim Israeli settlement with East Jerusalem, puts the Bedouin villages in the area most at risk of demolition and forced expulsion.
But as a result of the local and international response to the planned demolition, the Israeli plans for Khan al-Ahmar have been halted until Aug. 1, despite the same court granting permission to demolish the village months before.
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