Like vultures, Israeli soldiers descended on Khan Al-Ahmar, on September 14, recreating a menacing scene with which the residents of this small Palestinian village, located East of Jerusalem, are all-too familiar.
The strategic location of Khan Al-Ahmar makes the story behind the imminent Israeli demolition of the peaceful village unique amid the ongoing destruction of Palestinian homes and lives throughout besieged Gaza and Occupied West Bank.
Throughout the years, Khan Al-Ahmar, once part of an uninterrupted Palestinian physical landscape has grown increasingly isolated. Decades of Israeli colonization of East Jerusalem and the West Bank left Khan Al-Ahmar trapped between massive and vastly expanding Israeli colonial projects: Ma’ale Adumim, Kfar Adumim among others.
The unfortunate village, its adjacent school and 173 residents are the last obstacle facing the E1 Zone project, an Israeli plan that aims to link illegal Jewish colonies in Occupied East Jerusalem with West Jerusalem, thus cutting off East Jerusalem completely from its Palestinian environs in the West Bank.
Like the Neqab (Negev) village of Al-Araqib, which has been demolished by Israel and rebuilt by its residents 133 times, Khan Al-Ahmar residents are facing armed soldiers and military bulldozers with their bare chests and whatever local and international solidarity they are able to obtain.
Despite the particular circumstances and unique historical context of Khan Al-Ahmar, however, the story…