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122 days of demolition threats, Israel seals off Khan al-Ahmar

Oct. 19, 2018 2:13 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 24, 2018 4:26 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces assaulted protesters inside the Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahma, east of Jerusalem in the central occupied West Bank, on Friday.

Israeli soldiers fired tear-gas bombs and pepper-sprayed Palestinian and international protesters and activists as they attempted to protest at the main road leading to the village, preventing them from doing so.

Minister Walid Assaf, head of the National Committee against the Wall and Settlements was among those who suffered tear-gas inhalation.

Israeli forces detained one of Assaf's escorts.

Large numbers of Israeli forces surrounded Khan al-Ahmar and sealed off its main entrance, declaring it a closed military zone.

Sources added that Israeli forces were deployed across the village and along several roads leading to it, preventing residents and activists from entering and exiting the area.

The seal off came as an attempt to prevent hundreds of protesters and journalists from reaching Khan al-Ahmar to show solidarity with the residents of the village after 122 days of being under threat of demolition.

The demolition would leave more than 35 Palestinian families displaced, as part of an Israeli plan to expand the nearby illegal Israeli settlement of Kfar Adummim.

Amnesty International (AI) along with Jewish Voice for Peace, launched a social media campaign, which stated "Israel's policies of settling Israeli civilians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, wantonly destroying property and forcibly transferring Palestinians living under occupation, violate the Fourth Geneva Convention and are war crimes listed in the statute of the International Criminal Court."

It added that since 1967, Israel has forcibly evicted and displaced entire communities and demolished more than 50,000 Palestinian homes and structures.

AI said "After nearly a decade of trying to fight the injustice of this demolition, the residents of Khan al-Ahmar now approach the devastating day when they will see their home of generations torn down before their eyes."

AI stressed that "the forcible transfer of the Khan al-Ahmar amounts to a war crime," noting "Israel must end its policy of destroying Palestinians' homes and livelihoods to make way for settlements."

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