JERUSALEM, July 3, 2018 (WAFA) – The Israeli army declared on Tuesday Khan al-Ahmar Abu al-Helu area, east of Jerusalem, a closed military zone and ordered all roads leading to it and inside the community closed causing concern among its residents of its imminent demolition.
Walid Assaf, head of the anti-wall and anti-settlements authority, told WAFA that Israeli forces raided the Palestinian Bedouin community on Tuesday evening and handed its residents the military order, which is valid until the end of the month.
He said the attorneys are currently studying the military order and how to deal with it.
Assaf said he believes the order was issued now as activists plan a rally at the community on Friday and as a prelude to demolishing it after the Israeli Supreme Court gave the green light to the army on May 24 to demolish the Bedouin community.
Liz Throssell, spokesperson for the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, had earlier expressed deep concern at reports that Israel was getting ready to demolish the Palestinian Bedouin community of Khan al Ahmar-Abu al Helu stressing that “international humanitarian law prohibits the destruction or confiscation of private property by the occupying power.”
The spokesperson called on the Israeli authorities not to proceed with the demolition and to respect the rights of residents to remain on their land.
The community is home to 181 people - more than half of them children - and is one of the 46 Bedouin communities in the central West Bank that the UN views as being at high risk of forcible transfer due to an environment generated by Israeli practices and policies that coerces people and communities to move.
For more than a decade people in the Khan al Ahmar community, which is located near to where large Israeli settlements have been established, have resisted efforts to move them to make way for settlement expansion. The demolition orders were originally issued on the grounds that all the structures, including a school that serves over 180 students from five nearby communities, were illegally built.