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France urges Israel not to demolish Khan al-Ahmar

Sept. 12, 2018 11:18 A.M. (Updated: Sept. 13, 2018 4:41 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- France urged Israel, on Tuesday, not to demolish the Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar, east of Jerusalem in the central occupied West Bank.

The French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian, expressed France's deep concern regarding Israel's plans to demolish the Khan al-Ahmar village and to displace its Palestinian residents.

Le Drian said in a statement that "France expresses its very deep concern at the situation. Under the Israeli Supreme Court ruling, the decision to demolish this village lies with the Israeli government."

He added that France joins the High Representative of the European Union (EU), Federica Mogherini, in calling on Israeli authorities not to proceed with the demolition of the village.

He stressed that "France reaffirms that the demolition of infrastructure and homes in the West Bank, a Palestinian occupied territory, are contrary to international humanitarian law, and in particular the fourth Geneva Convention - since they will result in the evacuation and forced transfer of populations - and the Security Council resolutions."

"France is paying particular attention to the case of Khan al-Ahmar given its location in an area of strategic importance for the contiguity of a Palestinian state and for the viability of a two-state solution with Jerusalem as the capital. It therefore warns of the potential humanitarian as well as political consequences of the demolition of this village and the displacement of its inhabitants."

Le Drian concluded by stating that France will continue its efforts to preserve the two-state solution with the EU and its close international partners.

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