'Time for Israeli sovereignty in Judea and Samaria'

Economics Minister calls for gov't to evacuate illegal Bedouin encampment east of Jerusalem before April elections.

Hezki Baruch ,

Minister Eli Cohen
Minister Eli Cohen

Economics Minister Eli Cohen (Kulanu) visited the illegal Bedouin encampment Khan al-Ahmar Wednesday, and called on Prime Minister Netanyahu to order its evacuation before the Knesset election this coming April.

Khan al-Ahmar, home to some 180 Bedouin squatters, was built in the 1990s just east of Jerusalem, on land belonging to the nearby Israeli town of Kfar Adumim.

The Israeli Supreme Court ordered the encampment’s evacuation in September, but in October the cabinet voted to indefinitely postpone the implementation of the court order, in the hopes of reaching an agreement with the squatters for a voluntarily evacuation in exchange for an alternative site.

Cohen toured the area surrounding Khan al-Ahmar Wednesday morning, and was joined by representatives from the Regavim watchdog group, which monitors illegal Arab construction.

“I came here this morning to see the Khan al-Ahmar outpost, which the Supreme Court has ordered to be evacuated. It was built with the assistance of groups from Europe which are operating in Area C,” Cohen continued.

Area C, which makes up roughly 60% of Judea and Samaria, is under full Israeli control, as opposed to A, which is under Palestinian Authority security and civil administration, and Area B, under PA civil administration and Israeli security control.

“In the State of Israel there is law, and the law must be respected. Therefore, the Khan al-Ahmar outpost must be evacuated before the [April 9th] election.”

“But beyond that, the more substantive response we must give to those groups which are attempting to create a territorial link [between Arab towns in Judea and Samaria] is to annex, and to apply sovereignty to Area C. That is the solution against those who are trying to create facts on the ground. We need to be the ones who make facts on the ground – with the annexation and application of sovereignty over Area C.”