Israeli Supreme Court freezes demolition of West Bank village

Israeli Supreme Court freezes demolition of West Bank village
2 min read
13 July, 2018
Israel's Supreme Court has suspended the planned demolition of a Bedouin village in the occupied West Bank pending an appeal amid international opposition to the move.
Israel's Supreme Court has suspended the planned demolition of Khan al-Ahmar. [Getty]

Israel's Supreme Court has suspended the planned demolition of a Bedouin village in the occupied West Bank pending an appeal amid international opposition to the move.

The court on Thursday extended a previous suspension of the corrugated shack encampment's demolition until a hearing no later than 15 August.

Israel claims Khan al-Ahmar, east of Jerusalem, was illegally built and has offered to resettle residents 12 kilometres away.

But critics say it is impossible for Palestinians to get building permits, and the removal of its roughly 180 residents is to make room for an Israeli settlement.

The pending demolition has drawn heavy international criticism and become a rallying cry for the Palestinians.

Leaders of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party gathered at the village on Thursday in solidarity with residents.

The village is located in the 60 percent of the West Bank known as Area C, which remains under exclusive Israeli control and is home to dozens of Israeli settlements.

Israel places severe restrictions on Palestinian development in Area C, and home demolitions there are not unusual.

The UN's humanitarian coordinator for the Palestinian territories, Jamie McGoldrick, has condemned the planned demolition.

"These demolitions are particularly outrageous because they target communities who already live in extremely difficult conditions, with high levels of humanitarian needs," he said.