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Police arrest 10 as Israel prepares to demolish entire village

Dozens of Palestinian, international, and Israeli activists try to stop bulldozers from paving an access road that will make easier the demolition of Khan al-Ahmar in the West Bank.

Residents of the Bedouin village Khan al-Ahmar look on as a bulldozer paves an access road to be used by Israeli forces in the imminent demolition of the West Bank hamlet, July 4, 2018. (Oren Ziv)

Residents of the Bedouin village Khan al-Ahmar look on as a bulldozer paves an access road to be used by Israeli forces in the imminent demolition of the West Bank hamlet, July 4, 2018. (Oren Ziv)

Israeli security forces arrested 10 Palestinians Wednesday as they began preparing for the demolition of an unrecognized Bedouin village in the West Bank.

IDF and police forces, along with representatives from the Civil Administration — the military body entrusted with controlling and monitoring the Palestinian population in the West Bank — arrived at the Khan al-Ahmar at dawn. With the help of bulldozers, they began paving an access road that would allow for the passage of heavy equipment that will be used to demolish the village and evict its residents.

The preparations come a month after Israel’s High Court formally approved a plan to demolish Khan al-Ahmar — home to over 170 people, including 90 children — and forcibly transfer them to an area near a garbage dump close to the West Bank town of Abu Dis. Now that no legal hurdles remain, Israeli army bulldozers can freely arrive at the village, caught between the Israeli settlements of Kfar Adumim and Ma’ale Adumim, at any time.

Israeli security forces arrest a protester in the Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar in the West Bank, July 4, 2018. (Oren Ziv)

Israeli security forces arrest a protester in the Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar in the West Bank, July 4, 2018. (Oren Ziv)

Meanwhile, the village has become an internationally-known site of resistance to Israel’s practice of forcibly transferring Palestinians out of Area C of the West Bank, under full Israeli military control — an area many members of the Israeli government advocate annexing.

Dozens of Palestinian activists, as well as a few Israelis and internationals, joined Khan al-Ahmar’s residents around noon, blocking one of the bulldozers for an hour. The police, who appeared to have come unprepared for the protest, called for reinforcements. Security forces eventually put down the protest, arresting three Palestinian activists. Israeli police then arrested several more protesters on Route 1, which abuts the village, among them a 20-year-old resident of Khan al-Ahmar and her aunt. Police lightly wounded one Palestinian journalist and broke the lens of a camera belonging to a Palestinian photojournalist.

The Palestinian Red Crescent says it treated 35 activists for injuries sustained during the demonstration. Four of the protesters were hospitalized.

Demonstrators in Khan al-Ahmar seen after being arrested for protesting the building of an access road to allow for the demolition of the West Bank village, July 4, 2018. (Oren Ziv)

Demonstrators in Khan al-Ahmar seen after being arrested for protesting the building of an access road to allow for the demolition of the West Bank village, July 4, 2018. (Oren Ziv)

Police also arrested B’Tselem’s Field Research Director Kareem Jubran as he was filming the arrests. Jubran was released on Wednesday evening, although the rest of the detainees were kept in the Ma’ale Adumim police station.

Despite the protests, the bulldozers continues to carry out their work. Passersby could have easily thought they were there to improve the conditions of the village, which is not connected to the electricity grid or water, and has no paved roads. But in the unrecognized villages in both the West Bank and Israel, security forces have one goal: preparing for demolition.

Palestinian activists and residents of Khan al-Ahmar block the path of Israeli security forces and bulldozers, as the latter tried to pave an access road to allow for the village's imminent demolition, July 4, 2018. (Oren Ziv)

Palestinian activists and residents of Khan al-Ahmar block the path of Israeli security forces and bulldozers, as the latter tried to pave an access road to allow for the village’s imminent demolition, July 4, 2018. (Oren Ziv)

“The situation here is like in al-Araqib and Umm al-Hiran,” says Khan al-Ahmar resident Mahmoud Abu Dawoud in reference to two Bedouin villages in Israel that have fought years-long struggles against demolition. “The goal is to put pressure on us so we sign a deal and leave the village.”

Palestinian activists continued streaming in throughout the day, waving flags and chanting until the bulldozers, the police, and the soldiers left the village at 4 p.m. British Consul-General Philip Hall visited the village in the afternoon, where he heard from residents about the arrests that had taken place just hours earlier, as well as the general condition of the hamlet. Hall listened, adding only that he believes the demolitions hurt the chances of achieving peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

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    COMMENTS

    1. Ben

      No one who reads +972/Local Call Magazine, or Haaretz for that matter, can with a straight face say that Israel protects either the rights of its Arab citizens (e.g., in al-Araqib, in Umm al-Hiran, in Afula) or the rights of protected persons under its occupation; or the rights of its refugees seeking asylum. No one. And Israelis cannot therefore later say “we didn’t know.”

      Ze’ev Sternhell, expert on European fascism:
      http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.630047?v=23FB1CD3D5DEC3DDB1C63E33F2A70C1F
      What Israel’s founding fathers never imagined
      05.12.2014
      “No one ever envisioned the actual possibility that power would fall one day into the hands of people with the demeanor of masters, for whom the oppression of another nation was second nature. Who ever imagined that the Jewish community might one day turn into a colonialist entity and lay the foundations of an apartheid regime as a permanent condition, and would want to engrave that shame in its law books on top of that?”

      Reply to Comment
      • itshak Gordin Halevy

        Everyone in Israel knows that the information given by Haaretz is biased.
        His readership is in free fall. As for 972mag, few people know it. Its audience is very limited (leftist extremists and right-wing activists). Both are consulted mainly abroad

        Reply to Comment
        • tom

          ahah funny, yes of course, in the journalist and information world, only the right wing israeli journalists and the government are not biased at all, reflect the only truth and have a very objective view on the situation.

          Reply to Comment
          • itshak Gordin Halevy

            You tell anything. Israel is an open and democratic society where the Arab minority has its party which is the third largest in the Knesset. The Arabs have their deputies. They have judges and some of them do the army. Freedom of the press is assured (except for security reason). Abuse of women is very severely repressed. Gaza is ruled by racist terrorists. It is a corrupt religious society where minorities and women are oppressed. There is no freedom of the press. It is this society that our dear leftists have taken as a model.

            Reply to Comment
          • Tom

            Of course a “democratic society” who occupied/control 5 millions people in palestinian bantoustan…

            And what about arabs people living in Jérusalem, annexed by Israel without civil right ?

            What about the 65 israelis laws than descriminaze palestinian with israel id ?
            https://www.adalah.org/en/content/view/7771

            You should read Mandella before aclaiming your democracy :
            http://www.bintjbeil.com/E/occupation/mandella.html

            Reply to Comment
        • Ben

          Halevy, as a test of character one always has to ask oneself, how would I have behaved had I been born a Gentile in Germany in 1920? Would I have actively resisted? Would I have passively resisted? Would I have gone along passively? Would I have gone along passively but also with an officious, “yes, people don’t follow ‘the rules’, we should be proud of our military and our leaders and our armaments industries who protects us” kind of thing? Or would I have been an active true believer? On this spectrum of character, you strike me as a combination of the latter two. And a person like that would always cluck contentedly in the early days that the newspapers that opposed the regime were “biased” and “none too popular and no one reads them anyway.” And closed his eyes to what is going on around him and would read contentedly of the villages of defenseless people being demolished. And cluck about following “our laws.” (Of which the German regime had plenty.) I read you as that kind of race-based, contented clucker.

          Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            And you know doubt are also a contented clucker about just this sort of thing:

            IDF Censor redacted 2,358 news articles last year
            https://972mag.com/idf-censor-redacted-2358-news-articles-last-year/136552/

            So one has to ask, if no one reads these papers anyway, and those who do read them know they are “biased,” then why does the IDF censor them so doggedly? And please don’t tell me it’s for “security” reasons, I’ll die laughing.

            Reply to Comment