Khan al-Ahmar will be evacuated, Netanyahu assures Ben-Gvir – but not yet

The apparent reasons for the delay were Blinken’s visit to the region and the upcoming Ramadan holiday.

By World Israel News Staff

After the Israeli government on Wednesday requested from the Supreme yet another delay in the evacuation of an illegal Bedouin outpost, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly told National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, who has demanded its removal, that it would still happen.

It was the ninth time that the government has asked for an extension – this time, for four months.

According to Hebrew-language Kan 11, the prime minister later reassured Ben-Gvir that the outpost would be evacuated, but he did not specify the date.

The reasons given for the postponement, sources close to Netanyahu say, were U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s visit to the region and the upcoming Ramadan holiday.

The coalition party heads were reportedly promised a meeting with Netanyahu before submitting its request to the Supreme Court; however, only Netanyahu’s chief of staff, Tzachi Braverman, met separately with Ben-Gvir, Minister in the Defense Ministry Bezalel Smotrich and Defense Minister Yoav Galant.

The month-long Ramadan period begins mid-March, and it is a time when tensions rise.

In Ramallah Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken reiterated the Biden Administration’s goal to rebuild its relationship with the Palestinian Authority.

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Stressing Washington’s policy for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the secretary said that “includes things like settlement expansion, the legalization of outposts, demolitions and evictions, disruptions to the historic status quo of the holy sites, and of course incitement and acquiescence to violence.

“We look to both sides to unequivocally condemn any acts of violence regardless of the victim or the perpetrator.”

In a CNN interview Tuesday, Netanyahu praised President Joe Biden for his “commitment” to Israel’s security, although “we have disagreements.”

The legal battle over the issue began in 2009, when Israeli NGO Regavim filed its first petition against what it called “the Palestinian Authority’s flagship outpost in the systematic takeover of Area C” of Judea and Samaria. The encampment is built on state land belonging to the city of Ma’ale Adumim, east of Jerusalem.