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.”
– Last 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.
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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