Between garbage and sewage: Israel’s future plans for Khan al-Ahmar

To avoid being transferred to a garbage dump in East Jerusalem, the villagers of Khan al-Ahmar will have to convince three other Bedouin communities to evacuate the area

A child views the debris of demolished homes in Khan Al-Ahmar

Haggai El-Ad writes in +972, “Since the mid-1970s, Israel has been working to drive Palestinians out of the West Bank area which lies east of Jerusalem. Special efforts have been invested in emptying the “Ma’ale Adumim bubble” — the sizable swath of land extending eastwards, from the outskirts of East Jerusalem about halfway to Jordan, to be enclosed by the planned separation barrier – of Palestinians. These efforts are explicit, ongoing, and violent. Nonetheless, the state’s recent brazen admission of its intentions before the High Court of Justice, in its response to a new petition against demolishing the village Khan al-Ahmar, is a new low.”

“To justify the forcible transfer of Palestinians out of their homes, the state peppered the court with formalistic arguments based on the ‘rule of law,’ context be damned. The residents of Khan al-Ahmar were accused of ‘building illegally,’ as though Israel leaves Palestinians in Area C any option to build legally. They were faulted with living too close to Route 1, which connects Jerusalem with the Dead Sea, conveniently ignoring the fact that they were there years before the road was ever built, and are willing to move 100 meters to the north, away from the road, to placate the state. These and other absurd legalisms were enlisted in order to avoid spelling out before the court Israel’s aforementioned true motivation: cleansing “the Ma’ale Adumim bubble” of Palestinians.”…

A boy tends his flocks in Khan Al-Ahmar

“Yet this underlying motivation becomes ever more explicit as the state, in its response to the new petition, suddenly tied the future of Khan al-Ahmar to its neighbors. Of course, we are not speaking of the settlers who live nearby, but rather three other Palestinian communities that are now somehow also slated for expulsion. The state did not even bother to come up with an excuse for this, but simply declared that the planned expulsion now includes not “only” the 30-plus families of Khan al-Ahmar, but the entire “four compounds of the Jahalin Abu Dahuk tribe, comprising some 80 families” — that is more than 400 people in total.” (more…)


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