Europeans at UN urge Israel not to demolish Palestinian village

A general view of the Palestinian Bedouin village of Khan Al-Ahmar in the Israeli occupied West Bank on Sept. 13, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 21 September 2018
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Europeans at UN urge Israel not to demolish Palestinian village

  • The eight countries are France, Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, Britain, Belgium, Germany and Italy
  • They warn the demolition ‘would severely threaten the viability of the two-state solution’

UNITED NATIONS: Eight European countries at the United Nations including five Security Council members on Thursday called on Israel to reverse its decision to demolish a Palestinian village in the West Bank.
Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Belgium, Poland and the Netherlands warned that the demolition of the village of Khan Al-Ahmar “would severely threaten the viability of the two-state solution.”
“We therefore call upon the Israeli authorities to reconsider their decision to demolish Khan Al-Ahmar,” the countries said in a joint statement released ahead of a council meeting on the Middle East.
On Sept. 5, Israel’s supreme court upheld an order to raze the village on grounds that it was built without the proper permits.
On Sept 13, Israeli troops removed caravans in the early morning from near the Bedouin village which they have orders to demolish despite international criticism, officials said.
The community of roughly 200 people is located in a strategic spot near Israeli settlements and along a road leading to the Dead Sea.
There have been warnings that continued Israeli settlement construction in that area could divide the West Bank in two and cut it off from Jerusalem, killing off the prospect of amassing contiguous land for a viable future Palestinian state.


Turkey launches air strike on Iraqi Kurdistan after killing of diplomat

Updated 19 July 2019
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Turkey launches air strike on Iraqi Kurdistan after killing of diplomat

  • Turkish vice consul to Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region was shot dead Wednesday in the local capital Irbil
  • Turkish separatist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) is suspected to be involved in the killing

ANKARA: Turkey on Thursday launched an air attack on Iraqi Kurdistan in response to the killing of a Turkish diplomat in the region, the country’s defense minister said.
The Turkish vice consul to Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region was shot dead Wednesday in the local capital Irbil. Police sources said two other people were also killed.
There was no claim of responsibility for the shooting, but many Iraqi experts have pointed to the probability that the Turkish separatist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which Ankara considers a terrorist group, was behind the attack.
“Following the evil attack in Irbil, we have launched the most comprehensive air operation on Qandil and dealt a heavy blow to the (PKK) terror organization,” defense minister Hulusi Akar said in a statement.
Targets such as “armaments positions, lodgings, shelters and caves belonging to terrorists” were destroyed.
“Our fight against terror will continue with increasing determination until the last terrorist is neutralized and the blood of our martyrs will be avenged,” he added.
The Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), which now leads the regional government, enjoys good political and trade relations with Turkey.
But Turkey has been conducting a ground offensive and bombing campaign since May in the mountainous northern region to root out the PKK which has waged an insurgency against the Turkish state since 1984.
Earlier this month, the PKK announced that one of those raids killed senior PKK leader Diyar Gharib Mohammed along with two other fighters.
A spokesman for the PKK’s armed branch denied the group was involved in Wednesday’s shooting.