Scuffles at West Bank Bedouin village slated for demolition

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Palestinian protesters chant slogans and confront Israeli forces on September 14, 2018, as they demonstrate against the blocking of the road leading to the Palestinian Bedouin village of Khan Al-Ahmar in the occupied West Bank. (AFP)
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Palestinians and foreign activists are trying to open the road closed by the Israeli army near his village of Khan Al-Ahmar, in the occupied West Bank on September 14, 2018. (AFP)
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A Palestinian protester confronts Israeli forces on September 14, 2018, as he demonstrates against the blocking of the road leading to the Palestinian Bedouin village of Khan Al-Ahmar in the occupied West Bank. (AFP)
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Israeli forces are confronted by Palestinian protesters on September 14, 2018, as they demonstrate against the blocking of the road leading to the Palestinian Bedouin village of Khan Al-Ahmar in the occupied West Bank. (AFP)
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Israeli border police arrest protesters and activists blocking Israeli army bulldozer operating at the West Bank Bedouin community of Khan Al-Ahmar, Friday, Sept. 14, 2018. (AP)
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Israeli forces are confronted by a Palestinian protester on September 14, 2018, as he demonstrates against the blocking of the road leading to the Palestinian Bedouin village of Khan Al-Ahmar in the occupied West Bank. (AFP)
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A Palestinian protester confronts Israeli forces on September 14, 2018, as he demonstrates against the blocking of the road leading to the Palestinian Bedouin village of Khan Al-Ahmar in the occupied West Bank. (AFP)
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A Palestinian protester confronts Israeli forces on September 14, 2018, as he demonstrates against the blocking of the road leading to the Palestinian Bedouin village of Khan Al-Ahmar in the occupied West Bank. (AFP)
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Israeli forces are confronted by a Palestinian protester on September 14, 2018, as he demonstrates against the blocking of the road leading to the Palestinian Bedouin village of Khan Al-Ahmar in the occupied West Bank. (AFP)
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Protesters and activists block an Israeli army bulldozer at the West Bank Bedouin community of Khan Al-Ahmar, Friday, Sept. 14, 2018. (AP)
Updated 14 September 2018

Scuffles at West Bank Bedouin village slated for demolition

KHAN AL-AHMAR, Palestinian Territories: Scuffles broke out between Israeli forces and dozens of pro-Palestinian activists Friday at a village slated for demolition in the occupied West Bank.
An Israeli bulldozer sought to close off a route to the Bedouin village of Khan Al-Ahmar by dumping rocks and earth on it, sparking a protest that led to small clashes.
Three people were arrested, a police spokesman said.
Activists said among them was a French law professor, Frank Romano, but the police did not confirm his arrest.
The village of roughly 200 people is at risk of being demolished at any time, despite fierce criticism from key European nations.
On September 5, Israel’s supreme court upheld an order to raze the village on grounds that it was built without the proper permits.
It is extremely rare for Palestinians to be given Israeli permits to build in Area C of the West Bank, where Khan Al-Ahmar is situated.
The village is located in a strategic spot near Israeli settlements and along a road leading to the Dead Sea.
There have been warnings that continued settlement construction in the area could eventually divide the West Bank in two and cut it off from Jerusalem, dealing a death blow to any remaining hopes of a two-state solution.


US declares Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land 'consistent' with international law

Updated 2 min 38 sec ago

US declares Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land 'consistent' with international law

  • The announcement by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo sparked anger among Palestinians
  • The move is the latest by the Trump administration seen as favoring the Israeli position over the Palestinians

WASHINGTON: The United States on Monday backed Israel’s right to build Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank by abandoning its four-decade position that they were “inconsistent with international law.”

The announcement by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo sparked anger among Palestinians who say the settlements are the main barrier to their future state.

The shift in US policy follows the Trump administration’s decision to relocate the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem last year, a move seen as undermining Palestinian claims to the eastern half of the city as a future capital.

Pompeo said US statements about the settlements on the West Bank - which Israel captured during a 1967 war - had been inconsistent, saying Democrat President Jimmy Carter in 1978 found they were not consistent with international law and Republican President Ronald Reagan in 1981 said he did not view them as inherently illegal.

“The establishment of Israeli civilian settlements is not, per se, inconsistent with international law,” Pompeo told reporters at the State Department, drawing criticism from a senior Palestinian figure even before his announcement.

“Another blow to international law, justice & peace,” Hanan Ashrawi, a veteran Palestinian negotiator and member of the Palestine Liberation Organization's Executive Committee, said on Twitter ahead of Pompeo’s statement.

The announcement marked the third major instance in which the Trump administration has sided with Israel and against stances taken by the Palestinians and Arab states even before unveiling its long-delayed Israeli-Palestinian peace plan.

In 2017 Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel before opening the embassy in the city. US policy had previously been that the status of Jerusalem was to be decided by the parties to the conflict.

In March, Trump recognized Israel’s 1981 annexation of the Golan Heights in a boost for Netanyahu that prompted a sharp response from Syria, which once held the strategic land.

Trump's move might have been designed to help Netanyahu as he struggles to stay in power. Israeli politics is deadlocked after two inconclusive elections this year. Former military chief Benny Gantz's centrist Blue and White party emerged neck and neck with Netanyahu following a September vote, and both leaders have struggled to put together a ruling coalition.

*With Reuters