ISRAEL’S Supreme Court rejected an appeal against the demolition of a Bedouin village in occupied Palestine today.
The West Bank village of Khan al-Ahmar, east of Jerusalem, has been given a breathing space of a week before Israeli authorities can tear it down.
Israel says the village was built illegally and the structures that make up the Khan al-Ahmar encampment, including an Italian-funded school, pose a threat to residents because of their proximity to a motorway.
But critics have dismissed this claim as a ploy to remove the village’s 180 or so residents to clear the way for new Jewish settlements. Residents point out it is all but impossible for Palestinians to get building permits approved.
Khan al-Ahmar is in Area C, an Israeli designation assigned to about 60 per cent of the occupied West Bank which places it under exclusive Israeli control. Area C has been heavily settled by Israelis, despite settlement of occupied territory being illegal under international law.
The ruling is in defiance of a plea from the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights office not to go ahead as “the destruction of private property by an occupying power violates international law.”
Israel’s Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman praised the “brave” judges for allowing the Bedouin to be driven from their homes.
“No-one can stop us from implementing our sovereignty and responsibility as a state,” he declared.
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