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Netanyahu Postpones Evacuation of Khan Al-Ahmar to Please US

Netanyahu Postpones Evacuation of Khan Al-Ahmar to Please US

Wednesday, 19 June, 2019 - 07:15
Palestinian boys sit in the Bedouin village of Khan Al-Ahmar near Jericho in the occupied West Bank. Mohamad Torokman / Reuters
Tel Aviv - Asharq Al-Awsat
Senior officials in Tel Aviv said on Tuesday that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's decision to postpone the evacuation of the Palestinian village of Khan Al-Ahmar for six months, until mid-December, was in response to a request made by the US administration.
 
According to the sources, the Americans asked Tel Aviv to refrain from destroying Khan Al-Ahmar until their plan for a political settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, known as the "Deal of the Century", is put forward to avoid tension with the Palestinian leadership.
 
Netanyahu had made his decision “calmly and strictly” and gave his orders to the Israeli Public Prosecution, which filed a request to the Supreme Court to approve the postponement of the implementation of its decision to evacuate and demolish the village of Khan Al-Ahmar “until the formation of a new government after the Knesset elections, which will be held on September 17,” the Israeli sources said.
 
Israeli media considered the prime minister’s move as evidence of his ability to make difficult decisions without fear of his right-wing colleagues.
 
Khan Al-Ahmar, a Bedouin village in Jerusalem since 1931, is located on Highway 1 east of Jerusalem. Its population in 2018 was estimated at 173, including 92 children living in tents and shacks. Israel decided to expel them more than ten years ago.

Bedouins in the area have been engaging in a peaceful confrontation since 2009 against demolition orders. However, the Israeli High Court of Justice rejected their petitions at the end of May 2018 and supported the demolition, giving the state the freedom to choose the timing of execution.

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