In a step seen to defy and resist the Israeli High Court’s decision giving the green light to the Israeli army to evacuate and demolish the village of Khan al-Ahmar, east of occupied Jerusalem, residents and activists from all the governorates continue to converge on the village to join the open sit-in called for by the head of the Wall and Settlements Resistance Commission Walid Assaf.
The participants in the sit-in for the second day in a row said they would not pay attention to the decisions of the Israeli courts and would resist any attempt to demolish the village.
The head of Khan al-Ahmar village council, Eid Abu Dahouk, said that the village residents will remain steadfast in their village because removing Khan al-Ahmar means targeting all of Jerusalem by building a belt of settlements around it that would divide the West Bank into two parts.
“We have to work hard now, he said. The Bedouins will not leave this village. We have in al-Araqib, which was demolished 133 times and has been rebuilt every time, an example. Even if our village is demolished, we will not leave it and we will remain on our land. Those who have to leave are the occupiers who came here and want to expel us from our land.
Yousef Abu Dahouk, a resident of Khan al-Ahmar, told WAFA, that the court’s decision threw against the wall all international resolutions. Its decision, he said, is a distorted and racist decision aimed at displacing the people and to demolish the school that serves dozens of children.
“There are sick people and handicapped who live here and who are also under the threat of forcible eviction, he said. But we will continue to endure in our land despite the decision of the occupation and the settlements. There is a great public solidarity with us, and we hope that it will contribute to putting an end to the Israeli occupation efforts to demolish our homes,” he said.
For his part, the director of the National Coalition for Palestinian Rights in Jerusalem, Zakaria Odeh, told WAFA that this sit-in is a rejection of the decision of the High Court, saying the decision is part of a general policy implemented by the Israeli government and institutions to displace the Palestinian population and replace them with settlers.
He pointed to the demolition of houses in Al Walaja and Beit Hanina, which he said were part of a systematic policy implemented by Israel since the first day of the occupation with the aim of displacing the Palestinians, expanding the settlements and increasing the number of settlers in a bid to control the land.
He pointed out that the evacuation of Khan al-Ahmar is part of the E1 plan, which is based on the construction of 6,000 settlement units east of Jerusalem with the aim of separating the north of West Bank from its south.
Assaf told WAFA that the Palestinian people will do everything in their power to protect Khan al-Ahmar from demolition because there is no longer any room to talk about legal steps in the occupation state. The High Court in Israel has failed in the exam and adopted the position of extremists and settlers while it gave the Israeli army the power to demolish and displace people without any restrictions.
He said that there are 225 Palestinian communities in the area designated as (C), which have no legal status by the occupation authorities, and therefore the demolition decision means that all these communities are under threat of the same fate.
“We are facing a difficult situation, not only in Khan al-Ahmar, but in 60 percent of the West Bank, and the occupation will exercise what is currently doing in the other areas,” he said. “The international community that sponsored the Oslo agreement and the peace negotiations has a responsibility to stop the ethnic cleansing in Area (C).
The governor of Jerusalem, Adnan Ghaith, told WAFA that what is happening is a massacre against Khan al-Ahmar and a real tragedy in every sense of the word.
Source: Palestinian News and Info Agency