German chancellor might cancel Israel visit if Palestinian village demolished


AL-QUDS, PALESTINOW.COM — German chancellor Angela Merkel said she might cancel her trip to Israel if a Bedouin Palestinian village in the occupied West Bank is demolished by Israeli forces, Israel’s Army Radio has reported.

Merkel and a number of her ministers are scheduled to arrive on Wednesday evening for yearly meetings with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his cabinet.

Overshadowing the visit is the expected demolition of Khan al-Ahmar, a Palestinian village located between two Israeli settlements of Kfar Adumim and Ma’ale Adumim.

The Israeli occupation authorities gave the village, home to some 180 Palestinians, until 1 October to demolish their homes themselves.

The projected destruction of the village has sparked international uproar and demands for Israel to cancel the plan, which the United Nations has termed a “grave breach of international law”.

On Tuesday Palestinian children in Khan al-Ahmar staged a protest urging Merkel to save their homes and their school.

A spokeswoman for the German embassy in Tel Aviv told The Times of Israel that “a cancellation was not considered at any point in time”.

However, Israeli ministers responded angrily to the reports.

“If this is true, it’s a blatant, serious, and dangerous intervention,” Economy and industry minister Eli Cohen said.

“Israel is a sovereign state with a strong and independent court, and we’ve long since ceased to be a tool to salve the conscience of the Europeans,” he added.

An Israeli court ruled in September that the Bedouin tribe, who were originally displaced from the Negev Desert in the 1950s, had built their homes without permits.

Human rights groups have condemned the decision, saying it is impossible for Palestinians to obtain the building permits in the Israeli-controlled areas of the West Bank known as Area C.

United Nations officials believe the village is being cleared to make way for the expansion of Israeli settlements, illegal under international law.

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