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PLO: 'Demolition of Khan al-Ahmar blatant ethnic cleansing'

Sept. 6, 2018 11:05 A.M. (Updated: Sept. 7, 2018 1:44 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Palestine Liberation Organization Executive Committee Member, Hanan Ashrawi, said that the demolition of the Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar, east of the central occupied West Bank district of Jerusalem, is "blatant ethnic cleansing."

The Israeli High Court had rejected, on Wednesday, an appeal against the demolition of the village and ruled for its evacuation and for demolition to take place within the next seven days.

Ashrawi said in a statement "the inhumane and immoral decision by Israel's High Court of Justice to green light the destruction of the village of Khan al-Ahmar located near occupied Jerusalem reveals Israel's intent to erase and eradicate the Palestinian presence and continuity on the land."

She added that "this is blatant ethnic cleansing and constitutes a cause for serious alarm."

Ashrawi also stressed that the demolition of the Bedouin village and the displacement of its 180 residents, half of whom are children, "set a dangerous legal precedent for the expansion of Israel's illegal settlement enterprise, thereby giving clear license to the extremist settlers to embark on a land grab in the occupied West Bank with impunity."

She continued that "such a process of displacement, destruction and oppression has been persisting for seventy years as the world remains silent and reluctant to impose sanctions against Israel."

Ashrawi warned that the failure to provide protection for Palestinians would lead to further acts of uprooting and dispossession, resulting in "the total destruction of the territorial contiguity and demographic presence of the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem."

She urged the international community to intervene and immediately stop the demolition of Khan al-Ahmar.

Ashrawi concluded "we also urge the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention and the International Criminal Court (ICC) to convene and guarantee protection for the Palestinian people and accountability for Israel."

Member of the PLO Executive Committee and member of the political bureau of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Taysir Khalid, also called upon Palestinian National Forces and civil society organizations to attend public protests at Khan al-Ahmar to prevent the Israeli authorities from forcibly evacuating its residents from their land as a preliminary step to the demolition of other Bedouin communities in the area, which would completely isolate Jerusalem from its Palestinian surroundings in the West Bank and eventually divide the West Bank into Israeli-controlled enclaves, security and administratively.

Khalid stressed that the Israeli High court and its judges are "committing ethnic cleansing."

He also held the United States administration responsible for the "crimes committed by Israel in the West Bank, including occupied Jerusalem," and called on the international community "to hold its responsibilities and move from verbal condemnation of settlement crimes and crimes of ethnic cleansing to a practical policy of imposing sanctions on Israel."

Khalid called upon the European Union to reconsider the EU- Israeli Association agreement, especially since article II of the agreement, signed in 2000, stipulates the necessity and importance of Israel's commitment to respect human rights, including the rights of Palestinian citizens under occupation.

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