The Palestine Liberation Organization’s International Relations Committee said Wednesday that the United States is “inciting” Israel to move forward with the demolition of the Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar.
According to Safa, State Department official Heather Nauert said that the country's government has accepted the Israeli Supreme Court ruling, which gave a green light for the demolition of Khan al-Ahmar.
Khan al-Ahmar, a Bedouin village in the occupied West Bank with a population of just under 200 people, is situated a few kilometers from Jerusalem and between two major illegal Israeli settlements, namely, Maale Adumim and Kfar Adumim.
Destroying the Bedouin village, which is home to the Jahalin tribe, will allow the Israeli government to cut the West Bank in two, separating East Jerusalem from the West Bank. Israeli authorities deemed the village illegal stating that they were built without Israel’s permission. According to Palestinians, obtaining a permit from Israel is impossible as the Israeli authorities rarely approve permit requests from Palestinians.
PLO said the encouragement by the U.S. is disrespectful to international will and solidarity with Khan al-Ahmar. It is also an insult to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who according to the Middle East Eye, had threatened to cancel her visit if the demolition goes ahead. On Thursday, a Haaretz report said Merkel denied that her visit to Israel is conditioned on Israel not demolishing the village.
"That's entirely not true," she said during a special ceremony at an Israeli Museum. "Again and again it was claimed, set it as a condition for our visit. We never discussed it in the government." According to Merkel, "the information that claimed we may not come to Israel came from Israel, and it's untrue. This is an Israeli decision and our visit has nothing to do with it."
The demolition was scheduled to take place after the Oct. 1 deadline but it was postponed due to the Jewish holiday of Simchat Torah.
While the Palestinians wait for the demolition of the village, Israelis have started using indirect warfare to pressure the villagers from leaving Khan al-Ahmar. Using an old tactic by Israelis, they flooded the Khan al-Ahmar Bedouin Palestinian community with sewage water.
Eid Abu Dahouk, the mayor of Khan al-Ahmar, said that “by flooding the community with sewage, the colonialist settlers are engaging in a new form of war against the inhabitants.