EU resolution on razing illegally built Bedouin village ‘may be war crime’

With calls for restitution for their investments of “an estimated ‎‎€315,000 worth of EU-funded humanitarian ‎assistance,” the European Parliament members condemned Israel’s plan to remove the illegal Bedouin encampment in a 320 to 277 ‎vote, noting, “The demolition of Khan al-Ahmar and the forcible ‎transfer of its residents would constitute a grave ‎breach of international humanitarian law.”
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ast week Israel’s High Court of Justice ruled that there ‎‎was no legal reason to prevent the illegally built homestead’s ‎‎relocation.

By News Agencies and Israel Hayom Staff


‎The European Union on Thursday warned that Israel’s ‎plan to demolish the Bedouin herding village of ‎Khan al-Ahmar, east of Jerusalem, may amount to a ‎war crime.‎

Khan al-Ahmar is located off a highway that runs ‎through the West Bank from Jerusalem to the Dead ‎Sea. Israel’s plan to demolish the village and ‎relocate its 180 resident to a site 12 kilometers (7 ‎miles) away has drawn criticism from Palestinians ‎and some European states, which said the move would ‎hinder peace efforts.‎

Against Israeli demands, the EU continued to fund the expansion of the village of Khan al-Ahmar, in the West Bank, on public land illegally occupied alongside national Highway 1. – Photo: TrickyH,Wikimedia

The High Court of Justice last week ruled that there ‎‎was no legal reason to prevent the village’s ‎‎relocation. ‎

According to the Jerusalem Post, in a 320 to 277 ‎vote, the European Parliament approved a harsh ‎resolution against Israel that called for monetary ‎compensation should Khan al-Ahmar be razed.‎

“The demolition of Khan al-Ahmar and the forcible ‎transfer of its residents would constitute a grave ‎breach of international humanitarian law,” the ‎resolution stated.‎

Under the Fourth ‎Geneva Convention, such violations ‎are considered to be war crimes.‎

‎”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,” the resolution stated, ‎adding that should Khan al-Ahmar be razed, 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.”‎

MEPs further called on the EU to “step-up its ‎engagement with the Israeli authorities with regard ‎to full respect for the rights of the Palestinian ‎population in Area C and to demand compensation from ‎Israel for the destruction of EU-funded ‎infrastructure.‎

“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,” the resolution continued, stressing ‎that the EU “remains firmly convinced that the only ‎lasting solution to the conflict in the Middle East ‎is that of two democratic states, Israel and ‎Palestine, living side by side in peace within ‎secure and recognized borders, on the basis of the ‎‎1967 border and with Jerusalem as the capital of ‎both states.”‎

Joint Arab List MK Aida Touma-Sliman urged the ‎residents of Khan al-Ahmar to “stand strong and ‎‎look the occupation in the eyes.‎”

For understanding the backstory, as to why the illegal compound was
constructed at that specific location, Please Read:
EU and Palestinian Illegal "Facts on the Ground"
by Bassam Tawil

‎‎”Khan al-Ahmar’s struggle is the Palestinian ‎people’s struggle for independent recognition and ‎territorial contiguity for a future independent ‎Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its ‎capital,” she said.‎

Also on Thursday, a group calling itself the Wall ‎and Settlement Resistance Committee of ‎Palestine has ‎set up a village of mobile homes in Khan al-Ahmar in ‎‎”anticipation of any emergency” pertaining to the ‎village’s demolition. ‎

‎”Our plan to cope with the Israeli court’s decision ‎is to stand firm and withstand any demolition ‎attempt, and we will work to address this with all ‎our capabilities,” said Eid al-Jahalin, head of the ‎Bedouin village council.‎

Jamil Barghouti, a representative of the Wall and ‎Settlement Resistance Committee of Palestine, said ‎that “the Palestinian people are required to unite ‎and stand up and continue the sit-ins in the Khan ‎al-Ahmar in order to assure the Israeli government ‎that everyone will resist any attempt to demolish ‎the peaceful activities.”‎


The committee also plans to pursue legal options in ‎international courts, he said.


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