Fatah to meet at illegal Arab settlement

Fatah Revolutionary Council announced it will hold its next meeting near the illegal Bedouin encampment Khan al-Ahmar.

Dalit Halevi,

Khan al-Ahmar
Khan al-Ahmar
Hillel Maeir/TPS

The Fatah Revolutionary Council intends to hold its next meeting on Thursday near the illegal Bedouin encampment Khan al-Ahmar, which is slated for demolition.

Majid al-Fatiani, secretary of the Revolutionary Council, said that the decision to hold the meeting near the encampment is intended to express support for the steadfastness of the residents and for the right of the Palestinian people to their land, as well as to express opposition to the "Deal of the Century", the American peace initiative being formulated to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and to the "plot” against the Palestinian issue.

He said that the meeting of the Revolutionary Council would send a message to the “occupier” that the residents of Khan al-Ahmar are not alone and would also inform the international community that the issue of evacuating the Bedouin community is part of the “ethnic cleansing policy” that Israel is implementing in the region.

Fatiani added that the very existence of the meeting at Khan al-Ahmar would make it clear that it will not be the start of the implantation of the “Deal of the Century”, since Israel would fail in its efforts to impose facts on the ground.

Khan al-Ahmar, a Bedouin encampment with just over 170 residents, was built without any building permits or authorization, and sits in part on land belonging to the nearby Israeli community of Kfar Adumim.

First built in the 1990s, Khan al-Ahmar has received assistance from European governments to build illegal structures, including a school.

Years of legal battles culminated in a Supreme Court ruling upholding lower courts’ decisions which found Khan al-Ahmar to be illegal. The court ordered the government to evacuate residents and demolish the town.

In May, the Supreme Court rejected the final appeals made on Khan al-Ahmar’s behalf, paving the way for its removal.

Last week, however, the Supreme Court issued a temporary injunction prohibiting the demolition of the illegal village following an appeal by the residents.

Both the United Nations and European Union have condemned the demolition orders, and called on Israel to retroactively legalize the town and grant it full recognition.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights last week demanded Israel legalize the town, claiming that Israel lacked authority to enforce construction laws in Judea and Samaria.

"We call on the Israeli authorities not to proceed with the demolition, to respect the rights of residents to remain on their land and have their status regularized," said UNHCHR spokeswoman Liz Throssell said.

Nickolay Mladenov, the UN’s Middle East envoy, also condemned Israel over the impending demolition.

“Israel should stop such actions and plans for relocating Bedouin communities in the occupied West Bank. Such actions are contrary to international law and undermine the two-state solution,” read a tweet from Mladenov.