Fears grow Israel set to raze West Bank Bedouin village

KHAN AL-AHMAR: Residents and activists voiced concern on Wednesday that Israel is set to raze a Bedouin village in a strategic part of the occupied West Bank ignoring international calls for a reprieve.

Activists said the Israeli military issued a warrant to the 173 residents of Khan al Ahmar on Tuesday authorising it to seize access roads to the village.

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Heavy equipment, including at least one bulldozer, were seen around the village on Wednesday, leading to speculation a road was being prepared to facilitate its evacuation and demolition.

“Today they are proceeding with infrastructure work to facilitate the demolition and forcible transfer of residents,” Amit Gilutz, spokesperson for Israeli human rights group B’Tselem, told AFP.

Israeli authorities say the village and its school were built illegally and in May, the supreme court rejected a final appeal against its demolition.

But activists say the villagers had little alternative but to build without Israeli construction permits as the documents are near impossible for Palestinians to obtain for that part of the occupied West Bank.

Israel authorities say they have offered villagers a relocation site. They did not immediately responded to a request for comment on Wednesday.

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Forcible transfer is considered a violation of the Geneva Conventions.

Khan al Ahmar is located east of Jerusalem near several Israeli settlements along a road leading to the Dead Sea.

Activists are concerned continued Israeli settlement construction in the area could effectively divide the West Bank in two.

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    Original news : https://tribune.com.pk/story/1749598/3-fears-grow-israel-set-raze-west-bank-bedouin-village/