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Israeli forces detain B'Tselem field researcher during demolition of Khan al-Ahmar

July 4, 2018 5:06 P.M. (Updated: July 20, 2018 2:46 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli police forces detained several Palestinian non-violent protesters, including the Field Research Director of Israeli human rights organization B'Tselem, Kareem Jubran, who was filming at the Khan al-Ahmar Bedouin village east of East Jerusalem in the central occupied West Bank on Wednesday.

Non-violent protesters and activists, including residents of Khan al-Ahmar, were blocking Israeli bulldozers from getting through to carry out demolitions.

A statement by B'Tselem said that Israeli forces dismantled a portion of the guardrail that separates the community's homes from the main road, Route 1, and paved an access way to the community in preparation for the forcible-transfer of residents of the community.

"Israel has already twice before transferred the residents of Khan al-Ahmar: The first time was in the 1950s, when it transferred them from where they were living in the Negev (within Israel proper). The second time Israel transferred them in order to construct the settlement of Kfar Adumim. Now Israel is poised to expel them from their homes for a third time."

The statement added that "up until today, Israel never bothered to pave a road to the community of Khan al-Ahmar. Such a road would have provided the residents – who have been living there for decades – safe access to their homes. Nor did Israel ever take the trouble to connect the residents of these communities to the power or water grids. As a rule, Israel also prohibited them from adopting alternative solutions. Israel certainly never deigned to draft outline plans that would allow residents to live lawfully in their homes. It is thus that Israel deliberately created unbearable living conditions, designed to force the residents to leave, ostensibly of their own volition."

B'Tselem also pointed out that "given this reality, and not owing to any deliberate intention of breaking the law, residents were forced to build without construction permits. But once they did so, the authorities suddenly became very aware of them and quickly brandished demolition orders. However, no military order or court ruling can make the transfer of these residents lawful or moral. Forcible transfer of Palestinian communities is a war crime, and all who are involved in approving or implementing it bear personal liability."

B'Tselem's Jubran had also filmed Israeli bulldozers demolishing Palestinian homes in the Bedouin village of Abu Nuwar, in the central occupied West Bank district of Jerusalem, at around 9:00 a.m. Wednesday before his detention in Khan al-Ahmar.

Israeli forces had demolished nine dwellings and three farm buildings, leaving 62 people – about half of them minors – without a home.

According to B'Tselem, the Civil Administration had demolished two classrooms in the Abu a-Nuwar school in early February; the classrooms, which had been built with funding from the EU and the Palestinian Authority in late September 2017, were being used by 25 third- and fourth-graders.

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