A second Bedouin outpost, built with European Union funding only a few hundred feet away from Khan al-Ahmar, is the newest front in the protracted battle for control of the Adumim region in Judea.
By World Israel News Staff
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised “in the very near future” to evacuate the illegal Bedouin outpost known as Khan al-Ahmar situated at a strategically sensitive place along Highway 1.
Now, it has become clear that another Bedouin outpost, built with European Union funding only a few hundred feet away from Khan al-Ahmar and the subject of two separate High Court petitions, is about to become the newest front in the protracted battle for control of the Adumim region.
In 2015, the nonprofit group Regavim petitioned the Ministry of Defense to enforce demolition orders that had been issued for this particular illegal outpost. At the time, the Ministry of Defense announced that the cluster of illegal structures is high on the list of enforcement priorities and would be demolished shortly.
The Palestinians petitioned the High Court to freeze the demolition, and Regavim submitted a counter-petition demanding that the Ministry of Defense fulfill its commitment.
Last week, the State responded to the Palestinians’ petition, informing the High Court that the Ministry of Defense and the residents of the squatters’ camp had agreed to negotiations, examining options for legalizing the outpost in its present location, or exploring possible relocation sites if necessary.
The residents, who are being represented in Israel’s Supreme Court by Palestinian Authority attorneys, have made it clear that they are willing to negotiate only regarding the legalization of the outpost in its present location, and will not consider any offers for relocation.
Regavim notes that legalizing the outpost in its present location, or even allowing protracted negotiations, would mean that the plans for a new road would have to be scrapped or, at the very least, postponed for many years.
Yishai Hemo, Regavim’s Director of Operation in Judea and Samaria, stressed that “the network of illegal outposts along Highway 1 is not simply haphazard illegal construction to which the State is turning a blind eye; the illegal outposts are, as the Ministry of Defense recently admitted, tools in the Palestinian Authority’s calculated, systematic program of land-seizure in strategic locations, aimed at chocking off the growth of Jewish communities and taking control of Area C.”
“The fact that the Ministry of Defense under Avigdor Liberman was willing to negotiate the legalization of outposts in this sort of location amounts to Israeli approval for Palestinian control of these areas, ” said Hemo. “The State of Israel cannot allow the Palestinians to control Highway 1.”
The High Court of Justice is expected to hear the petitions on “Khan al Ahmar 2” in the coming weeks.