11:28 GMT +322 October 2019
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    A woman from the Arab Jahalin Bedouin community carries a mirror after the demolition of her home in the West Bank Bedouin camp of al-Khan al-Ahmar on April 7, 2016

    EU Warns Israel Against Demolition of Palestinian Village of Khan al-Ahmar

    © AFP 2019 / ABBAS MOMANI
    Middle East
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Israel declared the village of Khan al-Ahmar in the neighborhood of Jerusalem and near the road to the Dead Sea an unauthorized construction and started preparing it for demolition.

    The government plans to forcibly evict almost 200 Bedouin Palestinians living there, despite numerous protests from at home and abroad. Israeli Supreme Court rejected the petition of local residents against the demolition.

    Meanwhile, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom on Monday warned Israel about the consequences that would entail the destruction of the Palestinian village of Khan al-Ahmar.

    "We therefore join High Representative/[European Commission] Vice-President Federica Mogherini in reiterating our call to the Israeli government not to go ahead with its plan to demolish the village – including its school – and displace its residents," the five countries said in a joint published statement.

    According to the document, the consequences of the destruction and displacement of the settlement's residents will be very serious and will hinder the prospects of the two-state solution.

    Two UN human rights experts called the ruling of the Israeli High Court allowing to demolish the village "appalling."

    "This appalling decision could trigger the eviction of 180 inhabitants, including more than 90 children, putting them at imminent risk of forcible transfer," Michael Lynk, UN special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967 and Leilani Farha, UN special rapporteur on adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living, said in a joint statement.

    The court's decision violates the fundamental principles of international human rights law and international humanitarian law, they said.

    "Forced eviction constitutes a gross violation of the right to adequate housing under international human rights law. In addition, forcible transfer of people who are protected within an occupied territory is a grave breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention, and amounts to a war crime under the 1998 Rome Statute," the experts said.

    The special rapporteurs urged Israel to reverse decision and stop the eviction.

    READ MORE: EU Urges Israel to Halt Confiscation, Demolition of Palestinian Property

    EU and UN agencies previously repeatedly protested against the upcoming demolition of Khan al-Ahmar, calling the plans of the Israeli authorities a threat to the prospects for a Middle East settlement. They emphasize that the village is part of the so-called E-1 zone between Jerusalem and the large Jewish settlement of Ma'ale Adumim, which has critical importance for the territorial continuity of the future Palestinian state.


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    demolition, palestinians, village, Khan al-Ahmar, Israel, EU
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