Canada opposes demolition of Bedouin outpost

Canada turns to senior officials in Israel in an attempt to influence it to refrain from demolishing Khan al-Ahmar.

Dalit Halevi ,

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

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau several days ago expressed his opposition to the demolition of the illegal Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar, located east of Jerusalem.

“As steadfast friends of Israel, we are extremely concerned by the potential demolition of the Bedouin village, Khan-al Ahmar,” Trudeau said during a debate at the House of Commons.

“Canada has been actively communicating with Israeli officials to prevent this demolition. We are particularly concerned about the demolition of the school's village last week. We believe that no party should take unilateral action that could compromise the prospects for a two-state solution,” he added.

Khan al-Ahmar was built in the 1990s on land belonging to the Israeli town of Kfar Adumim, east of Jerusalem. The encampment is home to some 170 Bedouin, who have expanded the community in recent years with the aid of foreign governments.

Israeli courts approved the outpost’s demolition, but in July the Supreme Court froze plans to evacuate Khan al-Ahmar, pending an appeal by residents.

Israeli security forces had been preparing for the planned demolition, which was set to commence just hours before the court intervened.

Last month, however, the Supreme Court ruled against the residents, rejecting their claims and clearing the way for Khan al-Ahmar’s evacuation.

The ruling was condemned by the European Union, which warned that by demolishing Khan al-Ahmar, Israel would undermine the “prospects for peace”, as well as the possibility of achieving a two-state solution.

Eight European countries at the United Nations, including five Security Council members, later called on Israel to reverse its decision to demolish the illegal village, warning the demolition of the village "would severely threaten the viability of the two-state solution".