Despite pledge, Netanyahu again seeks to delay removal of West Bank village
State wants to postpone High Court hearing on pro-settlement group's petition to remove Khan al-Amar until March 2020, on the grounds that a government has not been formed since a previous request for a postponement was made in June
The state has presented the High Court with a request from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to postpone a hearing on a petition to evacuate a West Bank village built without permits. The petition was made by pro-settlement NGO Regavim
The state is seeking to delay the hearing on the village of Khan al-Amar until March 2020, on the grounds that a government has not been formed since a previous request for a postponement was made in June.
The Bedouin Jahalin tribe that lives in the village is originally from the Arad area. They settled in the area in the 1950s, when the land was still under Jordanian rule.
Today the village is close to the West Bank settlement of Ma'ale Adumim and comprises 180 residents living in tents and shacks, along with an Italian-funded school.
In September 2018, the Supreme Court rejected an appeal by the residents of the village to stop the planned demolition of the village.
The court decision approved demolition of the village and relocation of its residents to an alternative community close to the Palestinian town of Anata, some 600 meters away.
Netanyahu promised in November 2018 that the village "will be evacuated soon", despite protests and objections from human rights organizations.
Netanyahu's decision to delay has drawn much criticism from right-wing and pro-settlements groups.
Regavim is objecting to a further postponement of the demolition.
"This is the sixth appeal we have filed dealing with the Khan al-Ahmar situation," said the organization's Regional Director Meir Deutsch.
"The state committed to evacuate the area in 2009," Deutsch said.
"We are certain an additional delay will harm the status of the court and the interests of Israel."