Israel to demolish Palestinian village of Khan al-Ahmar despite UN, EU and UK protest | World | News


The UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain issued a joint statement on Monday opposing the proposed demolition of Khan al-Ahmar.

In the statement, they said: “We join EU High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini in reiterating our call to the Israeli government not to go ahead with its plan to demolish the village, including its school, and displace its residents.

“The consequences a demolition and displacement would have on the residents of this community, including their children, as well as on the prospects of the two-state solution, would be very serious.”

The Israeli government insists the homes at Khan al-Ahmar were constructed illegally.

This decision was upheld by the Israeli supreme court last week.

Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman welcomed the decision, saying: “Nobody is above the law, nobody will keep us from acting on our sovereignty and responsibility as a state.”

However Palestinians insist construction permits are near impossible to obtain.

Ahmed al-Tamimi, head of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation’s human rights body, commented on the planned demolition, stating: “It is a serious violation of the international humanitarian law and human rights.”

The planned demolition has also been fiercely condemned by the EU.

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said the destruction would “severely threaten the viability of the two-state solution and undermine prospects for peace”.

She added that there will be “serious consequences” if the demolition goes ahead.

Two UN human rights experts have also condemned the village’s expected demolition.

In a joint statement UN officials Michael Lynk and Leilani Farha said: “This appalling decision could trigger the evacuation of 180 inhabitants, including more than 90 children, putting them at immediate risk of forcible transfer.”

The settlement at Khan al-Ahmar was established by a semi-nomadic tribe in the early 1950s.

It is situated about 5 miles east of Jerusalem.

The UN has identified 18 Bedouin settlements, including Khan al-Ahmar, in or near East Jerusalem which it thinks could be vulnerable to forcible resettlement.

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