Israel must be stopped from razing Palestine village

Tel Aviv move to demolish Khan Al Ahmar is in line with its policy of displacing Palestinians to make way for Jewish extremists to build colonies on occupied land

A Palestinian village in the Israeli-occupied West Bank faces demolition after losing its last legal protection earlier this month. For the 200 residents of Khan Al Ahmar, the only hope now is that the occupation regime might be deterred by growing international outrage over the threatened demolition of the community. But the Israeli regime is not known for acting with dignity in the Occupied Territories in the face of foreign opposition.

At the United Nations on Thursday, eight European countries — including five Security Council members — called on the regime in Tel Aviv to reverse its decision to demolish the village. Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Belgium, Poland and the Netherlands warned such an action “would severely threaten the viability of the two-state solution”.

“The demolition of this small Palestinian village would not only affect a local community,” European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini recently told the European Parliament. “It would also be a blow to the viability of the state of Palestine and against the very possibility of a two-state solution. This is the situation on the ground: New [colonies] for Israelis are built, while Palestinian homes in the same area are demolished. This will only further entrench a one-state reality, with unequal rights for the two people, perpetual occupation and conflict.”

And that is the crux of the matter. That is the real reason Israel’s supreme court upheld an order to raze the village. The court’s pretext was that Khan Al Ahmar was built without proper permits. The truth is, the village is located in a strategic spot near Israeli colonies and a road that leads to the Dead Sea. The road is also flanked by large Jewish colonies such as Maaleh Adumim.

Besides, Khan Al Ahmar is in the centre of the West Bank, in an area seen as being essential for any viable Palestinian state comprising the West Bank, Gaza Strip and occupied East Jerusalem. All these areas were occupied by Israel in 1967. Israeli colony construction has been continuously dividing the West Bank and cutting it off from occupied Jerusalem.

This means the Palestinians will not have a contiguous land mass, which is necessary for any future state.

Though the Israeli regime is trying to showcase the dispute as a routine, zoning issue, it is symptomatic of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s policy of displacing Palestinians to make way for Jewish extremists to build colonies on occupied land.

In a sign that the Palestinian cause remains a rallying cry for the global anti-colonialist movement, dozens of foreign activists have been spending nights in Khan Al Ahmar to show their support.

For the Palestinians who call Khan Al Ahmar home, there’s little left to do but wait.


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