Netanyahu reassures faction Bedouin village will be destroyed ‘very soon’

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reassures his Likud faction that the central West Bank hamlet of Khan al-Ahmar will be razed “very soon.”

But, like last week when Netanyahu told his cabinet that the Palestinian village would be demolished “very soon,” the prime minister refuses to name an exact time for the operation.

“I will not tell you when, but we are preparing for it,” he said then.

A defense official who speaks with The Times of Israel following Netanyahu’s Monday remarks says that no plans are currently in the works to demolish the community of roughly 180 people.

The High Court of Justice ruled in May that the state is legally permitted, but not required, to move forward with its plans to demolish Khan al-Ahmar, which was built illegally without building permits.

The villagers — who have lived at the site, then controlled by Jordan, since the 1950s, after the state evicted them from their Negev homes — argue that they had little alternative but to build without Israeli construction permits, as such permits are almost never issued to Palestinians for building in parts of the West Bank, such as where Khan al-Ahmar lies, where Israel exerts full control over civilian affairs.

— Jacob Magid

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