Americans for Peace Now (APN) condemns Israeli actions toward Bedouin communities in the West Bank, including Khan al-Ahmar. Israeli authorities have demolished structures in Abu Nuwar and moved in bulldozers to Khan al-Ahmar in preparation for demolishing that community. The Israeli government plans to forcibly transfer the Bedouin members of the Jahalin tribe to Al Jabel, a village near the garbage dump in Abu Dis.
These moves are not only violation of Palestinian human rights; they are also a deliberate move by Israel’s right-wing government to harm prospects for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The Bedouin communities slated for demolition are located in an area east of Jerusalem known as E1. In order for a future Palestinian state to have contiguity, it must include E1. While emptying this region of Bedouin communities, the Israeli government is paving the way for building an extension of the nearby settlement of Kfar Adumim.
Hagit Ofran, Co-director of the Settlement Watch project of Peace Now, APN’s sister organization in Israel said, “They’re destroying Khan al-Ahmar because [the Israeli government] didn’t give them building permits. Now it turns out that the Israeli government has no problem with issuing permits for this land – just not to Palestinians.”
Unlike Europe’s assertive reaction to the planned Khan al-Ahmar demolition, the Trump administration is silent. Previous administrations, Democratic and Republican, recognized that E1 is strategically vital to a future Palestinian state and stressed that expanding settlements there would cross a red line. The lack of American commitment to a two-state solution under President Trump and the administration’s continued complicity in the Israeli settlement enterprise make the destruction of these Bedouin communities possible and jeopardize prospects for peace.
Now, the Trump administration has a last chance to intervene. Last night, an Israeli Supreme Court Justice issued a temporary injunction that prevents Israeli authorities from evicting and demolishing Khan al-Ahmar until a July 11 hearing, when the state must respond to a legal appeal.
APN calls on the Trump administration to take immediate action to prevent these demolitions. We also call on fellow American Jewish organizations to act urgently, raising their voices in a similar appeal.