Israeli court delays demolition of West Bank village again

Wednesday, Feb 08, 2023

OCCUPIED-AL-QUDS: Israel´s Supreme Court on Tuesday approved a new delay to the controversial demolition of a Bedouin village in the occupied West Bank.

The Khan al-Ahmar community, which lies on a strategic highway east of al-Quds, was slated for demolition in 2018 after a ruling that it was built without Israeli permits. Right-wing Israeli group Regavim had taken the government to court in order to force officials to raze the village, whose 200 residents have drawn international support.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu´s administration, which took office in December, had requested more time to decide on Khan al-Ahmar´s fate, telling the court it needed an extension before presenting a plan to demolish the village.

In Tuesday´s ruling, the Supreme Court granted a delay until May 1 but expressed regret that the government was “satisfied with the current situation... postponing its response every few months”.

Prior administrations have delayed their decision on Khan al-Ahmar eight times. Opponents to the demolition believe levelling Khan al-Ahmar would pave the way for the expansion of Israeli settlements in the area, effectively forming a barrier between annexed east al-Quds and the rest of the West Bank.

Israel has been under international pressure to block the demolition, with European diplomats most recently visiting the community on January 30. Khan al-Ahmar is located in Area C of the West Bank, which is under full Israeli control and where it is almost impossible for Palestinians to obtain construction permits. The West Bank has been occupied by Israel since the 1967 Six-Day War.