Over the past few days Israel has been at the forefront of parliamentary debate. On Tuesday Israel’s bilateral trading relationship with the UK was the focus, yesterday Palestinian incitement was raised in further debate.
But it was an urgent question about Khan Al Ahmar yesterday in the House of Commons that has created the headlines. Khan Al Ahmar is a Bedouin village in Area C of the West Bank that is facing an impending demolition any moment which would displace its 173 inhabitants. Over the past few days Israeli bulldozers have been in the village and whilst the demolition has not yet taken place, it is expected at any moment. You can read more about Khan Al Ahmar here.
Yachad has campaigned repeatedly over issues related to demolitions of Palestinian villages in Area C of the West Bank. Between 2010 and 2014, Palestinians submitted 2,020 applications for building permits in Area C. Only 33 – just 1.5% – were approved. For comparison, 32,373 housing units were approved in Israeli settlements in Area C between 2012 and 2016. This is not just a moral issue but a political one – each demolition makes the two-state solution harder to achieve, and in so doing endangers Israel long-term security and viability.
Yesterday in parliament, MPs that are friends of Israel made it clear that if Israel demolishes Khan Al Ahmar it will have serious consequences for Israel’s relationship with not just the UK but other allies. Speaking yesterday Middle East Minister Alistair Burt said that Britain was ‘in consultation with European colleagues and considering what response there might be to these circumstances.’
It is clear that the UK will not allow this action to pass unnoticed.
Please write to the Israeli Ambassador to ask him to relay the message back to Jerusalem that Israel’s allies in the UK – in the Jewish community, and in the Houses of Parliament – will not allow the demolition of Khan Al Ahmar to go unnoticed. It damages not only the prospects of a two-state solution but Israel’s international standing in the world.
We believe that it is possible to stop the demolition of Khan Al Ahmar so please send your letter to the Israeli ambassador by clicking here.
These are true friends of Israel, so why are they speaking up about #KhanAlAhmar? Because it dangers the two state solution and Israel’s relationships with its key allies around the world.
We will not allow this demolition to go unnoticed. pic.twitter.com/neeB2DIefA
— Yachad UK (@YachadUK) July 5, 2018
At the moment the Israeli state is carrying on with preparations to the demolition of Khan al-Ahmar despite the fact that the Israel’s High Court of Justice has prohibited the eviction from going through, according to B’Tselem – The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories:
- On 4 July, the Israeli Civil Administration came there with a police escort and heavy construction vehicles. They began paving an access road to facilitate transferring the community. That day, the police arrested 11 people, four people were injured by police violence and were taken to hospital.
- On 9 July, the High Court has made a temporary injunction further preventing the state from carrying out plans to evacuate Khan al-Ahmar and ordered the state to respond by July 16 meaning the eviction will not take place before then.
- In addition, the Civil Administration announced that it is going on strike beginning July 15 and that the demolition of Khan al-Ahmar will not be carried out prior to their return to work.
What happens now?
- If the High Court — following the state’s response on July 16 — chooses to reject the defense’s petition and the Civil Administration strike ends, the Israeli government will be able to move forward with plans to demolish the village as they will be allowed to evict the villagers
- However, due to Monday’s new petition, it will not be able to evict the residents from the area until at least after July 16 when the state has responded and the High Court gives its final ruling.
- More information here: High Court says state can’t clear West Bank Bedouin village before July 16 / The Times of Israel