Israel’s Economy Minister, Eli Cohen, has called for the process of demolishing the Palestinian village of Khan al-Ahmar to be accelerated. He also called for Area C, 61% of the Palestinian West Bank, to be annexed by Israel. The West Bank has already been under military occupation for over 50 years.
The Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar lies in the West Bank, which is already under an unlawful military occupation by Israel who have also refused to connect the village to electricity or water supply.
Cohen called for Israel to ‘annex, and to apply sovereignty to Area C’, which makes up a large portion of Palestine. He suggested that would be ‘the solution’ against Palestinians who he described as ‘attempting to create a territorial link’ between Arab towns. A number of politicians in the Knesset have advocated for a large portion of the West Bank to be permanently occupied.
The case of Khan al-Ahmar highlights the use of Israeli policies to force Palestinians from their homes and force them off their land. The United Nations has stated that destroying the homes of residents in Khan al-Ahmar would be a grave breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention and could amount to a war crime.
Friends of Al-Aqsa believe that the demolitions of Palestinian homes and the widespread efforts to force Palestinians out of their homes and their territory amount to a serious violation of international law.
Cohen’s comments also come amid a climate of policies and widespread practices which are displacing Palestinians from their homes, with Palestinian families being pushed out of neighbourhoods in East Jerusalem.