Israeli top court suspends Bedouin village demolition plan

Israel’s Supreme Court has suspended planned demolition of a Bedouin village in the West Bank amid global condemnation of the Tel Aviv regime’s occupying decision.

According to the lawyer of the residents of the Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar, the top court issued an injunction on Thursday, giving Israeli officials until July 11 to respond to the Palestinian villagers’ contention that they had been unfairly denied building permits.

The Supreme Court spokesman was not available for a comment.

Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan had earlier signaled that demolition of Khan al-Ahmar might not be imminent, noting that the decision will probably be implemented in the coming weeks.

Khan al-Ahmar is located near several major Israeli settlements and close to a highway leading to the Dead Sea. Activists say continued Israeli settlement construction in the area could effectively divide the West Bank in two.

It is not known when the demolition will take place, but on Thursday bulldozers could be seen widening the access road to the village. Activists expect the demolition to happen within the next few days.

Nearly 180 residents live in tin and wood shacks in Khan al-Ahmar, raising sheep and goats. Israel plans to relocate the residents to an area about 12 kilometers away adjacent to a landfill.

Israel has long sought to clear Bedouins from the area between a major Israeli settlement, Maale Adumim near Jerusalem al-Quds, and a smaller one to the northeast, Kfar Adumim. The Israeli Supreme Court had authorized the demolition of the entire village in May.

On Tuesday evening, Israeli authorities hung notices around the village, warning the residents of their impending expulsion. They also issued orders authorizing the seizure of access roads to the village.

Israeli forces also barred European diplomats from paying a solidarity visit to a school in Khan al-Ahmar, telling them that the area had been declared a closed military zone.

Residents and activists climbed onto bulldozers and waved Palestinian flags in a bid to halt the demolition. Dozens of journalists and activists also stood at the edge of the village.

According to the Palestinian Red Crescent, 11 people were arrested. Dozens of Palestinian were also wounded, four of whom taken to hospital.

The EU and UN have called on the Israeli regime to halt its plan to raze the village, saying such actions are contrary to international law and undermine peace efforts.

Israeli authorities have been carrying out forced evacuations against Bedouins since 1949.

The demolition of Bedouin homes is part of the Israeli regime’s massive land grab policy, which will forcefully displace thousands of people.

Tel Aviv has so far refused to recognize the rights of Palestinian Bedouins and denies them access to basic services.

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