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Israel plans to demolish West Bank village

Israel has ordered villagers in a Bedouin village, Khan al-Ahmar in the West Bank to leave their homes as it plans to demolish their village within the next eight days.

The decision has been deeply criticised by EU countries, namely France, Poland, Sweden, the UK, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and Italy.

In a statement, the EU said it had “repeatedly stated our long-standing position on Israel’s settlement policy, illegal under international law, as reconfirmed by Security Council Resolution 2334 (2016), and actions taken in that context, including the demolitions of Palestinian communities and possible forced transfers of population”.

The EU also said that the destruction of the village posed a threat to a viable two-state solution, as Khan al-Ahmar is located between two illegal Israeli settlements, Maale Adumim and Kfar Adumim, and therefore the erasing of it would split the West Bank in two.

The Israeli government has defended its decision, stating the order was in accordance with the Supreme Court decision initially made in May. The decision was frozen in July to hear an appeal from the residents, however this was rejected earlier this month.

The village community consists of 40 families living in tents and shacks within what is classified by the 1993 Oslo Accords as Area C. Area C accounts for 60 per cent of the West Bank and is “under total Israeli administrative and security control”.

In early July, Israeli bulldozers destroyed tents and other structures in the village, Al Jazeera reported.