Despite right-wing ministers, government requests delay in demolition of Khan al-Ahmar

Illustrative. The Bedouin village Khan al-Ahmar in the West Bank, on March 21, 2021. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Illustrative. The Bedouin village Khan al-Ahmar in the West Bank, on March 21, 2021. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The government requests an extension from the High Court of Justice in carrying out the destruction of the illegal West Bank Bedouin hamlet of Khan al-Ahmar.

The government requests a four-month extension, the ninth since the court approved the demolition of the village.

The move comes despite several of the far-right members of the new government — including Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich and Internal Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir actively petitioning for the evacuation to be carried out and criticizing delays requested by previous governments.

Hebrew media reports say the two were overruled by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Critics of the state’s handling of the affair say the demolition has been repeatedly pushed off to avoid an international incident as the village has gained public backing from human rights activists, pro-Palestinian groups, and the European Union.

In 2018, the Supreme Court approved the demolition of the village, which is located not far from Ma’ale Adumim and is believed to be home to around 200 Bedouin residents. Since 2018, governments led by Netanyahu and then his successors Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid, requested a series of delays in the demolition.

The state says the structures, mostly makeshift shacks and tents, were built without permits and pose a threat to the village’s residents because of their proximity to a highway.

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