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EU: 'Israel must compensate for demolition of Khan al-Ahmar'

Sept. 14, 2018 12:58 P.M. (Updated: Sept. 17, 2018 2:01 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- The European Parliament passed a resolution, on Thursday, warning that Israel's decision to demolish the Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar, east of Jerusalem, would constitute a grave violation of international law and threaten peace efforts with the Palestinians.

The European Parliament, in a 320 to 277 vote, passed a resolution against Israel that called for monetary compensation for financial losses should Khan al-Ahmar village be demolished.

The resolution stated that "the status quo in this area is of fundamental importance for the viability of the two-state solution and for the establishment of a contiguous and viable Palestinian state in the future."

The EU called upon Israel to compensate it for the infrastructure it had built in the village "ten EU Member States are supporting humanitarian programs in Khan al-Ahmar, including the construction of a primary school, and an estimated 315,000 Euros worth of EU-funded humanitarian assistance is now at risk."

"Should the demolition and eviction of Khan al-Ahmar take place, the EU's response must be commensurate with the seriousness of this development and consistent with its long-standing support to the community of Khan al-Ahmar."

The resolution added "Israel bears full responsibility for providing the necessary services, including education, healthcare and welfare, for the people living under its occupation, in line with the Fourth Geneva Convention."

Israel claims that Khan al-Ahmar was built illegally and says that it had offered to resettle the residents to an area in the Jordan Valley, about 12 km away, if they evacuate the village peacefully.

However, critics and human rights organizations argue that the demolition is part of an Israeli plan to expand the nearby illegal Israeli settlement of Kfar Adummim and to create a region of contiguous Israeli control from Jerusalem almost to the Dead Sea, which would make a contiguous Palestinian state impossible.

The approval of the EU resolution comes after the Israeli High Court had rejected an appeal against the demolition of the village and approved its demolition and evacuation to take place within the next seven days.

Since July, Khan al-Ahmar has been under threat of demolition by Israeli forces. The residents of the village have been since then subjected to threats, assaults, closures, and other forms of Israeli attempts to displace its residents.

The demolition would leave more than 35 Palestinian families displaced.

On Thursday, Israeli forces demolished five recently built substitute houses, which activists referred to as "Wadi al-Ahmar," as a form of protest against the expected demolition of the village.

It is noteworthy that Israel has been constantly trying to uproot Palestinian Bedouins from the east of Jerusalem area to allow settlement expansion in the area, which would later turn the entire eastern part of the West Bank into a settlement zone.
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