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Did you hear the story of the small Palestinian, Bedouin community of Khan Al Ahmar?

Threatened by the Israeli Occupation Forces’ bulldozers yet again?

Please let me remind you here that these Bedouins were forcibly removed from their original habitat in the Negev Desert at least twice before. When they arrived in their area close to Jerusalem in the 1950s they decided to put roots down in Khan Al Ahmar to keep their community together. This, of course, runs contrary to the expansionist plans and ethnic cleansing of Palestine by the Israeli occupying power. Meanwhile, illegal Israeli settlements nearby were spreading relentlessly and the land was required for their expansion. Enter the bulldozers.

These acts of collective punishment and forcible removal of civilian populations are illegal under United Nations and International Human Rights law. Yet, not only has the Israeli High Court of Justice sanctioned this illegal act they are also sanctioning another illegal act, under UN and International law, which is the transfer of the civilian population of the occupying power into the Occupied territory. In other words, not only is the removal of the Palestinians illegal, but so is the transfer of the Jewish settlers into the Occupied area.

Hagai El-Ad, director of Israeli rights group B’Tselem, described the court’s ruling as “cowardly, immoral, and outrageous”.

“This decision only demonstrates the Israeli High Court of Justice is working not in the service of justice but is simply working in the service of the occupation,” he said, speaking from Jerusalem.

“This is yet another example where we can see that the occupied people cannot find justice in the courts of the occupiers.

Again, the European Union (EU) and the rest of the international community has strongly spoken out against the demolition of Khan Al-Ahmar and the construction of a settlement in that area, saying it would divide the West Bank in half and put an end to any chance of a two-state solution in the West Bank and Gaza Strip with East Jerusalem as its capital. Of course, this is exactly the aim of the Netanyahu government. Never to allow a Palestinian state anywhere on Palestinian land. As Defence Minister, Avigdor Lieberman said only a few days ago, “I don’t care about a Palestinian state. The Palestinian state simply does not interest me. What interests me in the Jewish State.” September 27th 2018.

Previously he has said, “I intend to continue to approve the construction of housing units in Judea and Samaria (Occupied West Bank). September 18th 2017.

Meanwhile the six-person European Parliament (EP) delegation, chaired by Neoklis Sylikiotis said that the delegation supports the Palestinian struggle for freedom and justice and for self determination and oppose, at the same time, the Israeli occupation and apartheid. And then what? All words no action.

So why should Israel care?

They have de-populated and erased 556 Palestinian towns and villages. What difference do a few more make?

Take the village of Al-Araqib. This community in the Negev has been demolished more than 120 times. All the Israelis need to do to justify such moves to themselves is invoke ‘security’ or ‘army requirements’ or the crime of building without a permit. But what’s the point of asking for a permit? United Nations figures show Israeli authorities have approved just 1.5 percent of all permit requests by Palestinians between 2010 and 2014.

This is an occupying power hell bent towards usurping every bit of Palestinian land and expelling its population. As such the idea of granting a permit is just pie in the sky.

The bulldozing of Khan Al Ahmar is scheduled to begin today. Sanctioned by the Israeli High Court. Who is coming to the rescue of the people of Khan Al-Ahmar? Not the Palestinian Authority. Not the Arab League. Not the United Nations. Especially not the most evil and powerful empire known to man, the USA.

As a result of this inhumanity and barbarity the Palestinians are left to fend for themselves with only a few voices of conscientious people around the world, writing a post here and raising a flag there. Some determined humanitarians courageously stood in front of the advancing bulldozers a few weeks ago.

Thank you for your efforts, my friends, and please, don’t feel disheartened or feel your actions are in vain. We Palestinians are past masters at enduring and over-coming and we do appreciate your support.

As the well known saying goes, ‘For evil to flourish it only takes a few good men to look the other way.’ Edmund Burke.

Thank you for not looking the other way.

Jafar M Ramini is a Palestinian writer and political analyst, based in London, presently in Perth, Western Australia. He was born in Jenin in 1943 and was five years old when he and his family had to flee the terror of the Urgun and Stern gangs. Justice for the people of Palestine is a life-long commitment.

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