A Federal Foreign Office Spokesperson issued the following statement today (31 May) on the imminent demolition of Khan al Ahmar and the construction of settlements in the West Bank:
The Federal Government is extremely concerned that the Bedouin village of Khan al Ahmar could soon be demolished and its inhabitants resettled against their will. Khan al Ahmar is located near the so called E1 area between Jerusalem and the Israeli settlement of Ma’ale Adumim. If settlements were to be constructed here, this would significantly diminish the prospects for a contiguous Palestinian state – and thus also the feasibility of a two state solution.
With this in mind, the Federal Government also notes with great concern the plans adopted yesterday to construct further settlements in the occupied West Bank – not least because these include plans to expand the Kfar Adumim settlement, which is located in the immediate vicinity of Khan al Ahmar.
The Federal Government and its partners in the European Union have, for many years, been committed to opposing the further expansion of settlements in violation of international law and to supporting development in the Palestinian territories. The Federal Government strongly urges the Israeli Government to refrain from resettling the inhabitants of Khan al Ahmar.”
The village of Khan al Ahmar is home to 32 Bedouin families and has a total of 173 inhabitants, of whom 92 are children and young people. Around 150 children, also from Palestinian villages in the surrounding area, are taught at the school funded by the EU, Italy and Belgium.
Following the ruling by the Supreme Court on 24 May that all domestic remedies in Israel against the demolition orders had been exhausted, the resettlement of the village may now commence at any time. The Federal Government and the European Union have been committed for many years to preventing Khan al Ahmar from being demolished or resettled. The heads of EU missions in the region last visited the village on 16 May.
On 30 May, the planning committee for the West Bank adopted further plans for just under 2000 new housing units throughout the West Bank. These include plans for 92 new apartments in the Kfar Adumim settlement, which is located in the immediate vicinity of Khan al Ahmar.