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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 October 2018

Israel tells Khan Al Amar villagers to leave by October 1

Despite impending demolition of their homes, residents insist only force can remove them

The main part of the Palestinian Bedouin village of Khan Al Ahmar in the occupied West Bank. Reuters
The main part of the Palestinian Bedouin village of Khan Al Ahmar in the occupied West Bank. Reuters

Israel on Sunday told residents of Khan Al Ahmar, the Bedouin village in the occupied West Bank lined up for demolition, to clear their houses by October 1.

Residents of Khan Al Ahmar, a cluster of tin and wood shacks built on a desert hillside beside an Israeli highway that runs from Jerusalem to the Dead Sea, said they would ignore the order.

Faisal Abu Dahuk said the military could remove them by force "but there is no other place to go and we refuse to be moved anywhere else."

Israel plans to demolish the village and relocate its 180 people - Bedouins who eke out a living by raising sheep and goats - to a site 12 kilometres away, near the Palestinian village of Abu Dis and adjacent to a landfill site.

A spokeswoman for Israel's military said no date had been set for the demolition should the houses remain after the October 1 deadline.

Israeli security forces on Sunday morning handed out letters telling residents to voluntarily take down the dwellings by October 1 or the authorities would enforce the demolition order.

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Israel's Supreme Court rejected petitions to prevent the move, siding with the authorities which say the village was built without the required permits. Palestinians say such documents are impossible to obtain.

Palestinians also say the demolition is part of an Israeli push to create an arc of settlements which would effectively cut off East Jerusalem from the West Bank, territories Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East war and which the Palestinians seek for an independent state.