Israeli authorities handed over demolition orders on Sunday to residents of Palestinian village of Khan al-Ahmar in the occupied West Bank, telling them they have to clear their homes by October 1.
Khan al-Ahmar is a Palestinian Bedouin village that includes about 200 villagers and it is built on a desert hillside beside an Israeli occupation highway that connects illegal settlement between Jerusalem and the Dead Sea.
Israeli occupation plans to demolish the village and relocate its residents in a very small area far from Jerusalem in order to clear the area which, preparing to connect illegal settlements in the West Bank with those in occupied Jerusalem.
A spokeswoman for the Israeli military liaison agency with the Palestinians said: “This notification has been sent in accordance with the state’s obligations to enable the residents of Khan al-Ahmar to carry out the demolition independently.”
She noted that if the Palestinians did not demolish their homes voluntarily by October 1, Israeli occupation authorities would enforce the demolition orders.
“As long as you refrain from doing so, the authorities in the area will implement the demolition orders in accordance with the court ruling and the law,” the demolition orders read, claiming the decades old village is illegal.
“We will not voluntarily evacuate the place,” said village resident Faisal abu-Dahuk. “The occupation forces that have an army and weapons can evacuate us by force, but there is no other place to go and we refuse to be moved anywhere else.”
Palestinians say the demolition is part of an Israeli push to create an arc of settlements that would effectively cut off eastern Jerusalem from the West Bank, territories Israel captured in the 1967 war and which the Palestinians plan to have as part of their future state.
Eight European Union nations published a statement last Thursday rebuking the Israeli High Court's September 5 decision to demolish the desert community.