+972 Magazine's Stories of the Week

Directly In Your Inbox

Analysis News
Visit our Hebrew site, "Local Call" , in partnership with Just Vision.

PHOTOS: Activists spend night in Palestinian village Israel plans to demolish

The Israeli military is expected to demolish and forcibly displace the entire village of Khan al-Ahmar any day now. Hundreds of activists hope to stave off the bulldozers, or at least stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the village’s residents when they arrive.

Hailey Mann, a Jewish-American member of All That's Left, wakes up after spending the night in the schoolyard of Khan al-Ahmar, the Palestinian village Israel plans to completely destroy any day now, September 16, 2018. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Hailey Mann, a Jewish-American member of the All That’s Left anti-occupation collective, wakes up after spending the night in the schoolyard of Khan al-Ahmar, the Palestinian village Israel plans to completely destroy any day now, September 16, 2018. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Ever since a temporary injunction delaying the forcible displacement and demolition of the entire Palestinian village of Khan al-Ahmar expired, over 100 Palestinian, Israeli and foreign solidarity activists have spent the night in the village school’s courtyard.

After dinner and a few live broadcasts on Facebook, the activists sleep on thin mattresses and heavy blankets laid out across the schoolyard’s artificial grass covered courtyard.

As the sun rises each morning, a sense of temporary relief is tangible. The village survived to see another day another night. They made it through the night.

Over a hundred Palestinian, Israeli, and foreign activists have spent the night in the village ever since a temporary injunction holding off the demolition expired, Khan al-Ahmar, September 16, 2018. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Over a hundred Palestinian, Israeli, and foreign activists have spent the night in the village ever since a temporary injunction holding off the demolition expired, Khan al-Ahmar, September 16, 2018. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

 

The school, where most of the activists sleep, was built by European aid organizations out of tires and mud to serve several villages in the E1 area, Khan al-Ahmar, September 16, 2018. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

The school, where most of the activists sleep, was built by European aid organizations out of tires and mud to serve several villages in the E1 area, Khan al-Ahmar, September 16, 2018. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

The scene is in some ways reminiscent of Tel Aviv’s 2011 social justice tent protests, when thousands of young Israelis slept under the stars and in tents along the city’s Rothschild Boulevard. Only here, in Khan al-Ahmar seven years later, instead of Hebrew-language signs demanding affordable housing there are Palestinian flags, portraits of Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas, and almost certainty that Israeli army bulldozers will soon arrive.

The scene, in some ways, is reminiscent of the 2011 social justice protests in Tel Aviv, only with Palestinian flags and under portraits of Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas, Khan al-Ahmar, September 16, 2018. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

The scene, in some ways, is reminiscent of the 2011 social justice protests in Tel Aviv, only with Palestinian flags and under portraits of Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas, Khan al-Ahmar, September 16, 2018. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Many of the activists, including Palestinian government minister Walid Assaf, hurry to leave the school — and the village — before the children arrive to school each morning. In the evening they will return to spend another night in the village, hoping to hold off its destruction, or at least to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with its residents when it happens.

Every morning, before the village's children arrive for school, most of the activists leave, only to return later that evening, Khan al-Ahmar, September 16, 2018. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Every morning, before the village’s children arrive for school, most of the activists leave, only to return later that evening, Khan al-Ahmar, September 16, 2018. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

For nearly a decade, the residents of Khan al-Ahmar have been fighting the Israeli government’s attempts to demolish the Bedouin village and forcibly transfer its inhabitants to an area adjacent to a garbage dump near the West Bank town of Abu Dis.

The village has become an internationally-known site of resistance to Israel’s practice of forcibly transferring Palestinians out of Area C, and, in the past, pressure by American and European diplomats succeeded in helping to stave off the demolitions.

The area where it is located, known as E1, is of great strategic importance because if Israeli settlements expand throughout it, they would effectively dissect the West Bank into two pieces, rendering the idea of a contiguous Palestinian state there moot.

Human rights activists and organizations have called the planned demolition and forced displacement a war crime. Earlier this week, the European Parliament warned Israel that carrying out the plans would constitute a grave breach of international law.

Read more about the strategic importance of Khan al-Ahmar here, and the residents’ decades-long fight to live in their homes, here.

A version of this article also appears in Hebrew on Local Call. Read it here.

For additional original analysis and breaking news, visit +972 Magazine's Facebook page or follow us on Twitter. Our newsletter features a comprehensive round-up of the week's events. Sign up here.

  • LEAVE A COMMENT

    * Required

    COMMENTS

    1. UnimpressedRealist

      Be the generation. That’s all I will say on this. Be THE generation that stands up, don’t make the same mistakes of the past, push on holding their hands in yours. Only when Jews and Palestinians stand together will anything change.

      Be THE generation.

      Stand up to Natanyahu’s generation, it’s not their future, it’s YOURS. It you who has all the right in the world to determine where you all go. No him, not them. They are lost and they are carbon clones of the sins of their own parents.

      Be the embodiment of Judaism, be the rebels with a vision for an egalitarian bi-national reality. One person one vote, history told in full and wrongs put right.

      Reply to Comment