Khan al-Ahmar school, built in 2009 with mud and used tyres, serves more than 150 students (aged 6-15) from five villages who have no other access to education.
Khan al-Ahmar is one of nine Palestinian Bedouin villages on the Jerusalem to Jericho Road, in the occupied West Bank. Its families were evicted from the Negev Desert in 1952 to make way for an Israeli town. They live in abject poverty and are denied basic amenities; including fresh water and have suffered constant removal by Israel. They are now threatened with the imminent demolition of their homes and the school that serves the ninety-two children of the scattered community.
In July 2018, the Israeli military began demolishing the village. It was halted, pending High Court hearings. Demolitions take place daily as part of Israel’s plan to clear Palestinians from the area, to make way for Jewish-only settlement expansion. To the east of Khan al-Ahmar lies the settlement of Maale Adumim and, to the west, the settlement of Kfar Adumim. These Israeli Settlements are illegal under international law – which is being ignored by Israel and the current Trump administration in the USA.
Israel is determined that the families will be removed from the village and offered two sites, one of which is next to a festering Israeli rubbish dump. The other is near a sewage treatment works. “Forcible Transfer of people under occupation is a serious breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention. The deportation of or transfer of all or parts of the population of the occupied territory within or outside this territory constitutes a war crime under Article 8 of the Rome Statute.” (Amnesty International)
The British government has condemned these proposals; it should no longer stand idly by while Israel flagrantly ignores international law. It is time to take real action. It’s time for the UK government to end its complicity in Israel’s systematic violation of Palestinian rights.
The Israeli High Court decision on September 5th 2018, was that demolition is feasible in seven days time. That means the school and village may be demolished. The area will be declared a closed military zone.
Urgent action is needed