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

Supreme Court Judge Anat Baron issued a temporary injunction prohibiting the demolition of the illegal Palestinian village of Khan al-Ahmar, located east of Jerusalem, Attorney Ala Mahajana claimed on Thursday night.

According to Mahajana, the Supreme Court prohibited the state from carrying out the demolition of the homes in the illegal encampment and ordered it to submit a response to the new petition by Wednesday next week.

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.

Nevertheless, 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.

On Wednesday, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights 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.

Earlier on Thursday, it was reported that Israeli security forces blocked a delegation of European Union officials from entering Khan al-Ahmar.

According to the report, a delegation of European diplomats attempted to enter Khan al-Ahmar while the preliminary evacuation work was underway.

The European officials were barred from entering the town, and told by Israeli authorities that the site had been declared off-limits.

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