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France urges Israel to permanently cancel Khan al-Ahmar demolition

Oct. 23, 2018 4:14 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 27, 2018 9:45 A.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The French Foreign Ministry welcomed, on Tuesday, the Israeli Security Cabinet's decision regarding the postponement of the evacuation of the Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar, east of Jerusalem, yet urged Israeli authorities to "permananetly abandon their plans to demolish the village."

The French ministry said in a statement that France "takes note of the decision by the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netnyahu, to postpone the demolition of the village of Khan al-Ahmar, east of Jerusalem."

The statement stressed "France, in collaboration with its European partners, has repeatedly called on the Israeli authorities not to proceed with the destruction of Khan al-Ahmar and the forced evacuation of its inhabitants."

"We call on the Israeli authorities to permanently abandon their plans to demolish Khan al-Ahmar and to remove the uncertainty surrounding the fate of this village, which is located in an area that is key to the contiguity of a future Palestinian state and therefore the viability of the two-state solution."

Although the evacuation of the residents Khan al-Ahmar has been postponed by the Israeli Security Cabinet, the village is still in danger of being demolished in the near future, which would lead to the displacement of 181 residents, half of whom are children.

As Netanyahu said, "The timetable will be short," regarding the evacuation of the village.

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.

Israel has been constantly trying to uproot Bedouin communities 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.

Although international humanitarian law prohibits the demolition of the village and illegal confiscation of private property, Israeli forces continue their planned expansion by forcing evictions and violating basic human rights of the people.

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