Israeli court freezes West Bank village’s planned demolition


(JTA) – Israel’s Supreme Court issued an injunction freezing the planned demolition of an Arab village in the West Bank.

The injunction against the plan to demolish Khan al-Ahmar came Thursday night, the Israel Broadcasting Corp. reported. The justice presiding over the appeal for injunction by lawyers representing the residents of the Bedouin village cited the state’s refusal to review a compromise offer drawn up by the locals.

The village was built without permits. The villagers are hoping to obtain the necessary permits after the fact, in a process known as regulation. Several Jewish and Arab settlements that were constructed without permits in the West Bank in recent years have been allowed to remain following regulation. But others were demolished.

The court ordered the state to review the compromise offer and formulate and state its position on the offer by Wednesday, when the court will reconvene to discuss the issue.

Earlier this week, diplomats from about a dozen European Union countries visited the village, which they said must not be demolished.

They were prevented by Israeli forces, however, from visiting a school there built out of tires that was partially funded by the European Union. The school is in area that the Israeli army’s Civil Administration turned into a closed military zone.

In May, Israel’s Supreme Court authorized the demolition of Khan al-Ahmar, since the homes were built without permits. About 180 residents live in the village.

On Wednesday, Israeli forces demolished illegally built structures in the nearby Bedouin village of Abu Nuwar. On the same day, 11 people were arrested during protests at Khan al-Ahmar. In addition, three police officers and 35 protesters were reported injured.