The UN’s main human rights body expressed concern Tuesday over Israel’s expected demolition of a Bedouin village in the West Bank.
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said that demolishing the structures in the Khan al-Ahmar encampment would be a violation of international law. It called on Israel to abandon the demolition plans and “to respect the rights of residents to remain on their land.”
After years of legal battles, Israel’s Supreme Court recently approved the demolition. Israel says the structures were built without the relevant building permits and pose a threat to residents because of their proximity to a highway.
Critics say building permits are nearly impossible to obtain for Palestinians in Israeli-controlled areas of the West Bank and the move is meant to clear the way for new Jewish settlements.
Israel has pledged to resettle the residents, which the UN says number 180 people.
Israel says it has offered the residents an alternative location, near a garbage dump in the nearby Palestinian town of Abu Dis. Bedouin villagers say the location is unsuitable for their way of life, and have also said residents of Abu Dis have warned them not to come there.