While refusing to move, the residents of Khan al-Ahmar say they intend to demand transfer to the Arad Valley in the south and not remain under the Palestinian Authority.
By Baruch Yedid, TPS
The Palestinian Authority (PA) is expected to oppose any Israeli proposal to remove the residents of Khan al-Ahmar, even with the consent of the Bedouin squatters.
According to a senior Fatah official responsible for the Bedouin population living illegally in the Ma’ale Adumim area, south of Jerusalem, the idea recently proposed by the government is the removal of the illegal outpost to a location only 300 meters away.
The Palestinian Authority will refuse to relocate the Bedouin. According to the Fatah official, the residents of Khan al-Ahmar from the Abu Dahuk family will also refuse to move. At the same time, the residents of Khan al-Ahmar say that they intend to demand their transfer to the Arad Valley in the south and not remain under the Palestinian Authority.
The Jahalin Bedouin, the residents of Kahn Al-Ahmar, are an offshoot of a larger tribe based in southern Israel. After a blood feud that occurred within the tribe in the 1970s, some of the families were forced out and migrated north, arriving and settling in their present location after the 1973 Yom Kippur War.
The location of the illegal structures is hazardous due to its proximity to Highway 1, a major transportation artery. Khan al Ahmar overlooks the road that connects Jerusalem to the south of Israel in a strategic area.
The PA’s opposition stems from the fact that the evacuation of the residents will allow Israel to create a territorial continuum between Jerusalem and the Jordan Valley, thus preventing a Palestinian continuum between Bethlehem and Ramallah and Shechem (Nablus).
A Palestinian source claims that Israel intends to develop the Dead Sea Valley and establish hotels and an airport, and the PA will vehemently oppose this.
Recently, the PA appointed 15 more workers to the Nabi Musa site situated near Khan al-Ahmar. The PA intends to develop tourism in the area of Nabi Musa and the Land of the Monasteries in order to in thwart Israeli intentions to develop the area of the northern Dead Sea.
In the Ma’ale Adumim area, close to 130 Bedouin families live in 46 concentrations, and the Authority considers them a means of preventing Israeli construction in the area.