Top Court Issues Temporary Injunction on Eviction of Bedouin Village

Supreme Court Justice Anat Baron filed the injunction following appeal by village's lawyer and harsh criticism from EU countries. The Israeli government has until July 11 to respond

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Palestinians protesting the planned demolition of Khan al-Ahmar, Wednesday, July 4, 2018
Palestinians protesting the planned demolition of Khan al-Ahmar, Wednesday, July 4, 2018Credit: Majdi Mohammed/AP
Yotam Berger
Yotam Berger

A Supreme Court Justice issued a temporary injunction Thursday on the eviction and demolition of the Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar in the West Bank. 

Lawyer Ala'a Mahajna said he filed the appeal Thursday at 22:00, following which Justice Anat Baron issued an order for the state to respond by July 11. The eviction and demolition of the al-Ahmar is prohibited until it does.

The appeal was filed after the state refused to examine a plan to regularize the village, offered by its residents. It will not have to issue its response, after which the Hight Court of Justice will decide whether to proceed deliberations on the case, or dismiss the appeal and allow the demolition of al-Ahmar.

U.K., France, Germany, Italy and Spain submitted on Thursday an urgent official protest against Israeli authorities' plan to demolish Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar

Diplomats from France, U.K., Italy, Sweden, Belgium, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Switzerland, Germany, Spain and Ireland took part in the visit to the village on Thursday.

Israeli authorities banned them from visiting the symbolic decade-old school made of tires, which is in a closed military zone. 

On Wednesday, eleven people were arrested after throwing stones at security forces and dozens of Palestinians were wounded, according to the Red Crescent, in protests against the demolition.

The Israeli Supreme Court authorized the demolition of the entire village in May on the grounds that the homes were built without permits. 

The Civil Administration closed the area around Khan al-Ahmar to the general public until the end of July. Israeli authorities are planning to build a road to the place for the purposes of the eviction.

An Israeli defense source said that the evacuation is not expected to take place Thursday, echoing statements by other defense officials who said the demolition would take place in several days or weeks, once the road construciton is complete.

Authorities plan to move residents to Al Jabel, a village near the Abu Dis garbage dump that the state allocated for the permanent settlement of the villagers.

The European Union said on Thursday in a statement that the demolitions "together with plans for new settlement construction for Israelis in the same area, exacerbate threats to the viability of the two-state solution and further undermine prospects for a lasting peace."

The statement further said that the EU "expects the Israeli authorities to reverse these decisions and fully meet its obligations as an occupying power under International Humanitarian Law." 

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein said in response to the EU protest: "when the Supreme Court orders a demolition of a Jewish community in Judea and Samaria, they celebrate. But to destroy  a Bedouin village? Heaven forbid. Such hypocrisy."

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