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.


Canada to resettle group of Syrian White Helmets

Updated 20 October 2018
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Canada to resettle group of Syrian White Helmets

  • Canada has supported the work of the White Helmets by helping them to expand, train more volunteers, train more women and save more lives
  • Jordan said a group of 279 Syrian rescue workers has left the kingdom for resettlement in Western countries

OTTAWA: Canada is preparing to welcome a group of Syrian White Helmets rescuers, officials said on Friday, without specifying when they will be resettled.
“Together with a core group of international allies, Canada is working to resettle a group of White Helmets and their families after they had to flee Syria as a result of being specifically targeted by the Syrian regime and its backer, Russia,” Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland and Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, said in a joint statement.
“As first responders, the White Helmets have witnessed first-hand some of the most appalling crimes committed by the murderous Assad regime. Canada has supported the work of the White Helmets by helping them to expand, train more volunteers, train more women and save more lives,” they said, referring to Syrian President Bashar Assad.
In July, following the evacuation of 400 White Helmets from Syria to Israel and then to Jordan, Canada announced that it was ready to accommodate 50 of them and their families, for a potential total of 250 people.
Jordan said Wednesday a group of 279 Syrian rescue workers has left the kingdom for resettlement in Western countries.
Founded in 2013, the Syrian Civil Defense, or White Helmets, is a network of first responders who rescue wounded in the aftermath of air strikes, shelling or blasts in rebel-held territory.