Netanyahu Pledges: Illegal Bedouin Shantytown Won't Be and Will Be Evacuated

Ta’ayush activist Guy Hircefeld

Ta’ayush activist Guy Hircefeld

Al-Khan Al-Ahmar Bedouin community is located to the east of Jerusalem and resided by 200 Palestinian Bedouins, 95 percent of whom are refugees registered with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).

"Our proposals are based on what we have said to the Court, that we are willing to move a few hundred meters further north", explained Tawfik Jabarine, stating that the israeli government had not yet responded to these proposals. "The duration we will give to evacuate it in consent will be decided by the cabinet", said Netanyahu.

Israel has announced it was putting on hold the demolition of a Palestinian Bedouin village in the occupied West Bank until further notice. An official statement by the Cabinet read, "In accordance with the recommendation of professional elements, the Security Cabinet has granted an extension of several weeks in order to exhaust the negotiations for evacuation by agreement".

The fate of Khan al-Ahmar has drawn global concern after Israel said it planned to raze the village, a ramshackle camp housing 180 residents.

The surprise move, which came as Israeli forces were completing preparations for the evictions and demolition of Khan al-Ahmar, raised the ire of Netanyahu's rightwing coalition partners, while the village's Palestinian residents remained skeptical that an amicable solution was possible.

Israeli Minister of Army Avigdor Lieberman expressed his opposition to postponing the evacuation.

Palestinians say that it is virtually impossible to obtain building permits.

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At a Sunday morning press conference, the prime minister denied he had changed his position vis a vis Khan al-Ahmar, saying the delay was only "for a short period".

On Sunday, Netanyahu himself told reporters that the postponement would be only temporary.

Al-Khan al-Ahmar village is made up of around 180 members of the Jahalin Bedouin tribe, which has a 70-year-long history of dispossession and forced relocation by the Israeli government.

Israel plans to relocate the residents of Khan al-Ahmar to a site 12 kilometers away, near the Palestinian village of Abu Dis and adjacent to a landfill site.

Khan al-Ahmar, the Palestinian Bedouin village in the Occupied West Bank, housing a mere population of 180 villagers, has been in the middle of a major worldwide debate in recent months.

Earlier this month, the European Union denounced Israeli action and passed a resolution declaring that the slated destruction of the Bedouin village and eviction of its residents constitutes a violation of worldwide humanitarian law and may well be considered a war crime.

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