Jerusalem, Jan 30, 2023, issued by the Office of the European Union Representative (West Bank and Gaza Strip, UNRWA)
Representatives of Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, the EU, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland the UK and like-minded missions today visited the Palestinian community of Khan Al Ahmar to express their concern at the threat of demolition facing the village. Finland is also supportive of the below statement.
Heads of Mission and other representatives joined a visit organised by the Israeli NGO B’TSelem to the Palestinian Bedouin village of Khan Al Ahmar. The community, in Area C of the West Bank, has been at risk of demolition by the Israeli authorities for several years.
Legal avenues to prevent the demolition of the village have been exhausted and we understand that the Israeli Government is due to submit its plans on Feb 1 in response to a court petition demanding its demolition.
Khan Al Ahmar is home to 38 Palestinian families and is also the location of a donor-funded school which serves five communities in the local area. The demolition of the village and the subsequent eviction of its residents could amount to forcible transfer in violation of Article 49 of Geneva Convention IV.
The international community has for many years worked to discourage the Israeli authorities from taking forward the proposed demolitions. Today’s visit was an opportunity to restate our concerns. Evictions and demolitions cause unnecessary suffering. We urge Israel to cease such actions.