The security cabinet of the Israeli government approved the decision to delay the demolition of the village in occupied West Bank in a cabinet meeting on Sunday so that talks with the village residents can be held. These developments come amid a massive resistance by Palestinians against the demolition move.
At the international level, strong statements by the United Nations (UN), the European Union (EU) and by the Chief Prosecutor of the International Court of Justice (ICC) has put tremendous pressure on the Israeli government. ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda had said in a statement that Israel’s planned “evacuation by force” of Khan Al Ahmar could constitute a war crime.
Prime Minister Netanyahu indicated that the cabinet will decide the timetable for the negotiations. Sources from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office noted that the government is delaying the demolition for a short period of time, approximately 1-2 weeks, in order to reach a settlement or compromise.
Speaking about the Palestinian resistance against the forwarding Israeli bulldozers, Oren Ziv, a photo-journalist said “over the last four months, I have spent most of my time in Khan al-Ahmar, watching young Palestinians resist, day after day, the Israeli authorities’ attempts to demolish the village. On Saturday night, their struggle finally bore fruit.”
In September, the Israeli High Court of Justice had rejected a petition filed by Khan Al Ahmar residents asking for a stay on the evacuation and demolition of the village. Khan Al Ahmar is home to about 180 residents belonging to the Jahalin Bedouin tribe, who were expelled from their homes and lands in the Negev Desert in the West Bank in the 1950s.