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Lieberman scolds EU diplomats for condemning Khan Ahmar demolition

Palestine Information Center – October 7, 2018

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM – Israel’s war minister Avigdor Lieberman sent a letter to eight European ambassadors in Israel slamming them for a joint statement signed by their countries in which they criticized the Israeli government’s plan to demolish a Palestinian Bedouin village.

The ambassadors from Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Poland and Britain reportedly received a letter from Lieberman last week calling their joint statement on the demolition of the Bedouin village Khan al-Ahmar “absurd”.

“The statement invokes the absurd claim that relocating the residents to proper homes nearby will somehow preclude an eventual political resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” the letter said.

Lieberman responded to a joint statement by the eight countries last week in which they called “upon the Israeli authorities to reconsider their decision to demolish Khan al-Ahmar,” arguing it would be “very serious and would severely threaten the viability of the two-state solution and undermine prospects for peace.”

“The idea that moving a group of some 100 people within a five kilometer radius will prevent a resolution to such a complex historical conflict is hysterical nonsense,” Lieberman claimed.

“Israel expects to be treated with the same measure of dignity and respect for its judicial institutions and internal affairs as each of your governments rightly expects for its own. We regard anything less as an expression of injustice and discrimination, unworthy of our friendly bilateral relations and of accepted norms governing the conduct of ties between sovereign nations,” Lieberman’s letter concluded.

In May, after nearly nine years of legal battles, Israel’s High Court approved the government’s plan to raze Khan al-Ahmar. This ruling was frozen in July. The court said last month that the village would ultimately have to be demolished.

Residents rejected offers from the Israeli occupation to be forcibly deported elsewhere. Following the decision to demolish the village, the European Union stated that it expects Israeli authorities to reconsider the decision in light of international law and a future solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Israel’s settlement policy, which the EU and international law consider illegal has long been the subject of global criticism, as Palestinians have seen the prospects of a contiguous future Palestinian state diminish with the gradual expansion of Jewish-only settlement in the last several decades.

UN envoy Nickolay Mladenov echoed the EU’s statement, saying: “Demolitions undermine prospect for two state solution and are against international law.”

The demolition of the village is due to happen any day now since the deadline for the residents to evacuate has passed.

October 7, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , , | 2 Comments

Israel threatens to demolish ‘illegal’ Bedouin school

RT | September 3, 2012

Israel has threatened to demolish a Bedouin encampment in the West Bank that contains a school, claiming that the community was built without appropriate permits and was hindering the development of new Israeli settlements.

­The Khan Al-Ahmar elementary school was built in 2009 with the help of local and international humanitarian groups. The clay-and-tires structure employed 11 teachers, and instructed students belonging to some five neighboring Jahalin Bedouin tribes. Israeli authorities have issued a demolition order, claiming that the encampment containing the school was built illegally.

Demolishing the school would force the children to trek across the desert to Jericho for class, the closest place where education facilities are located. The Israeli military claimed that they will not destroy the school or the encampment until an alternate learning institution for the students is located.

According to UN reports, Tel Aviv has ordered the demolition of around 3,000 structures, including homes, cisterns, solar-power generators and 18 schools, including the Khan al-Ahmar Mixed Elementary School. Only 360 such demolitions have been carried out so far.

Israeli authorities believe that moving the indigenous population to planned communities will lift them out of poverty. Bedouin communities argue that their culture and its centuries-old traditions are being jeopardized by Jewish expansion.

The children of the Jahalin tribe previously attended school in Jericho, about 20 kilometers away, but school bus service was often unreliable. Locals now say that they may have no other choice: “We’ll go to school until it’s demolished,” the Washington Post cited 10-year-old Islam Hussein as saying,

Khan al-Ahmar is one of 20 Bedouin communities that are scheduled for relocation. Bedouin families have lived there since 1951, when refugees fled the Negev region during Israel’s war for independence. The West Bank is currently home to 300,000 Israeli settlers,

In September 2011, the Israeli government approved the ‘Prawer Plan,’ which called for the mass expulsion of the Arab Bedouin community in the Naqab desert. At the beginning of 2012, Tel Aviv announced a plan to establish ten new settlements along the disputed Green Line.

More than 70,000 Bedouins in 35 villages live in territory claimed by Israel. The settlements are considered to be ‘unrecognized’ by the Israelis, and the inhabitants are often referred to as ‘trespassers on state land.’

September 3, 2012 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , | Comments Off on Israel threatens to demolish ‘illegal’ Bedouin school