A delegation of representatives from Israeli authorities visited Khan al-Ahmar on February 1st. The delegation reportedly included the head of the Israeli Civil Administration (ICA) Brigadier general Moti Almoz, and Central Command head Major General Nitzan Alon.
The Israeli delegation met with community representative Abu Khamis, and the headmistress of Khan al Ahmar School. The delegation referred to pressure mounted by the international community and human rights groups as the reason they decided to come and see the situation of the community.
Community representatives were assured the ICA is preparing a master plan for this community and other (unspecified) Bedouin communities in the area. However, This village will not be in the current school location due to its proximity to the main road, but finding a nearby location will be studied. The community will be invited to review the master plan once it is completed, and they will be given the opportunity to make recommendations.
ICAHD Activists at the Khan al-Ahmar School
The community was told not to fear demolitions and assured Israel will not demolish the school or the homes in the community without first agreeing with the Bedouin on a suitable alternative future for the community.
The Palestinian-Bedouin communities living in the hills to the east of Jerusalem are at an exceedingly growing risk of forced ethnic displacement. The Bedouin homes are currently located in an area that holds strategic significance for further expansion of illegal Israeli settlements. This includes the E1 plan, which foresees the expansion of Ma’ale Adumim, an illegal Israeli settlement, and its linkage to Judaized East Jerusalem and Jordan Valley settlements. If implemented, these plans, along with Barrier construction in the area, risk preventing Palestinian growth and development and disrupting the territorial contiguity of a future Palestinian state. The forced displacement of the Bedouin would also be detrimental to their semi-nomadic way of life. As available land shrinks, Bedouin refugees are faced with nowhere to go.
The community requests international support to ensure that the above assurances are adhered to by the Israeli authorities.
To learn more download the ICAHD publication ‘Nowhere Left to Go: Arab al-Jahalin Bedouin Ethnic Displacement.’
To Highlight the risks of ethnic displacement in the Jerusalem periphery and the Jordan Valley, ICAHD offers a program of tours to the area. Having provided thousands of people from around the world with top-quality tours for over twelve years, tour guides and multi-faceted approach to examining the complexities of life in the Jerusalem periphery and the Jordan Valley. For more information on the ICAHD tours, press here…