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Netanyahu says West Bank Bedouin village eviction delay not indefinite

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday his decision to delay the demolition of a Bedouin…

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday his decision to delay the demolition of a Bedouin village in the West Bank was a brief reprieve while efforts were under way to reach a relocation deal for its residents.

FILE PHOTO: A general view shows the main part of the Palestinian Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar that Israel plans to demolish, in the occupied West Bank September 1

1, 2018. REUTERS / Mohamad Torokman / File Photo

Israel’s Besluit om het dorp Khan al-Ahmar in Israëlische bezette grondgebied heeft getrokken internationale zorg, inclusief van de Verenigde Naties en de Europese Unie. The International Criminal Court Prosecutor has said the eviction and demolition of Khan al-Ahmar could constitute a war crime.

But an official in Netanyahu’s office, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said on Saturday the eviction had been postponed and an alternative relocation plan was being considered in coordination with the Palestinian Authority.

FILE PHOTO: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting at his office in Jerusalem, October 14, 2018. REUTERS / Amir Cohen

In remarks to reporters on Sunday, Netanyahu said the eviction would eventually go ahead.

“The amount of time we allocate for evacuating it under an agreement will be set by the

” I have no intention of postponing this indefinitely, despite reports to the contrary, but for a short time, “he said. security cabinet. I will convene it today. We will set (the timetable).

Originally residents were moved to an area about 12 km away next to a landfill in the Israel-occupied territory. The authorities were expected to send in bulldozers at any time after an Oct. 1 deadline for the villagers to demolish their own homes expired.

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Israel, who has long sought to clear the Arab nomads from territories between the Jewish settlements of Maale Adumim and Kfar Adumim, said Khan al-Ahmar was built without the required Permits.

Palestinians, who lost an Israeli Supreme Court appeal against the evacuation, say such documents are impossible to obtain.

The Palestinians say razing the village’s tents and tin shacks is part of an Israeli plan to create an arc of Jewish settlements that could effectively cut off East Jerusalem from the West Bank, occupied by Israel since a 1967 war.

Most countries consider settlements built by Israel on land it captured in 1967 as illegal and say they reduce and fragment the territory of Palestinians seeking for a viable state. Israel disputes this.

The United Nations, the EU and rights groups have urged Israel not to raze the village, citing the impact on its community and prospects for peace.

Writing by Jeffrey Heller; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky

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