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Israel denies Palestinians, PA officials access to Khan al-Ahmar

Jan. 5, 2019 5:12 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 11, 2019 11:37 A.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces prevented Palestinians, including Palestinian Authority officials, from entering the Khan al-Ahmar Bedouin village of east of Jerusalem, on Saturday afternoon.

Israeli forces obstructed a PA convoy while on its way to Khan al-Ahmar and briefly detained Minister Walid Assaf, Head of the Wall and Settlement Resistance Committee, as well as Mahmoud al-Aloul, Deputy Head of the Fatah movement.

Witnesses said that Israeli forces denied access to Palestinians, journalists, activists in addition to these PA officials.

Israeli forces had set up several checkpoints on roads leading to the village, earlier during the day, and interrogated several Palestinian drivers and passengers.

On December 3rd, the Israeli authorities had issued a military order to extend the period of the closure of roads, leading to the Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar, east of Jerusalem district in the central occupied West Bank.

The Wall and Settlement Resistance Committee said, at the time, that the Israeli military order seeks to seize Palestinian-owned lands for military purposes.

The closure will continue until January 15th 2019.

Following the Israeli High Court's approval for the demolition of Khan al-Ahmar, the village has been in danger of being demolished by Israeli forces at any moment, which would displace 181 people, half of whom are children.

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.

In May 2018, the Israeli High Court of Justice determined that its residents could be evicted. The United Nations, the International Criminal Court, the European Parliament and Amnesty International have stated that the demolition of the village would be a violation of international law, being a breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention, and may amount to a war crime.

On October 20, 2018, the Israeli government announced that it would postpone the demolition until a negotiated resolution is found.
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