High Court stands behind demolition decision for Bedouin outpost on Jerusalem-Jericho road

The High Court reiterated its position that the illegally built outpost on the road between Jerusalem and Jericho can be torn down. 

By: World Israel News Staff

The High Court of Justice on Wednesday ordered the demolition of a Bedouin hamlet that existed illegally for decades near the Jewish city of Ma’ale Adumim, east of Jerusalem, saying there was no avoiding its removal. However, the court beseeched both sides to seek an alternative location.

In May, the court ordered the destruction of Khan al-Ahmar when it agreed with the Civil Administration that no permission had been granted for building the structures housing 180 residents.

The location of the illegal structures is hazardous due to its proximity to a major highway. Khan al Ahmar is adjacent and overlooking the highway that connects Jerusalem to the south of Israel in a strategic area that bisects the country.

The state has offered alternative sites for the residents to relocate with an emphasis on keeping the community intact, but they have rejected all of them and any other compromises on the issue.

The panel of judges ordered the state to submit within five days its new alternative proposal for rehousing the residents near Mitzpe Jericho, at a nearby location.

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The Jahalin Bedouin will have five days to respond to the proposal, though they are expected to reject it.

Diplomats from Sweden, France, Great Britain and Australia attended the court hearing. Several countries have voiced support for the Bedouins, against the State of Israel.

The Jahalin Bedouin is an offshoot of a larger tribe based in southern Israel, in the Arad region. After a blood feud broke out within the tribe, some of the families were forced out and migrated north through the Judean desert, arriving and settling in their present location after the 1973 Yom Kippur War.

Their battle for the land is part of a Palestinian Authority and European Union-orchestrated program of creating strategically located outposts that undermine the basis of the Oslo Accords.

By creating “placeholder” encampments in strategic points throughout Area C, the PA has circumvented the process of negotiation.

JNS contributed to this report.