Netanyahu party challenger calls for evacuation of illegal Bedouin camp

The eviction of Khan al-Ahmar has not been carried out by Netanyahu despite prior promises to do so.

By World Israel News Staff

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud political rival Gideon Sa’ar has called for the immediate demolition of the illegal Bedouin encampment of Khan al-Ahmar in Judea and Samaria.

“In Khan al-Ahmar, as in the rest of Area C, the question is simple,” said Sa’ar as he looked out at the illegal outpost on Tuesday.

“The Supreme Court has rejected appeals against [Khan al-Ahmar’s] demolition four times. The future of Judea and Samaria will be determined by actions, not words. Evacuate Khan al-Ahmar immediately.”

“A solution needs to be found for the residents, but you have to understand that the issue here is not just about the residents, the question is who is the sovereign here and what will be the future of Area C as a whole, and here we need to take clear, continuous action,” Sa’ar said.

“Who is in control – Israel, or the Palestinian Authority, which is using aid from the European Union to create facts on the ground?” he asked.

Khan al-Ahmar is an illegal settlement built at the end of the 1990s southeast of Jerusalem on the strategically significant Highway 1, which connects Israel’s north and south. It sits in an area known as E1, which falls fully under Israeli military and civilian control.

According to Regavim, an NGO that deals with land issues, Khan al-Ahmar is part of a larger plan of the Palestinian Authority to build settlements along Highway 1 in order to create de facto ownership in a contiguous stretch of territory from Bethlehem in the south through Ramallah and to Jenin in the north.

After many years of the settlement’s legality being stuck in the judicial system, Israel’s Supreme Court ruled in May 2018 that the settlement can legally be removed.

Despite increased internal pressure for the government to demolish the village, the eviction was not carried out by Netanyahu despite prior promises to do so.

With an expected third round of elections around the corner, the Jewish State has been left without a ruling government for over half of a year now.

In May 2019, Israel’s Supreme Court ruled that the state cannot move forward with the evacuation of Khan al-Ahmar until a permanent government is formed.