As reports unfolded on 12 July of Israel announcing the demolition of a Bedouin village within days despite a temporary injunction, World Council of Churches general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit condemned the plans for demolition, saying it violates human rights, particularly those of vulnerable children, who live in Khan al-Ahmar.
“Demolishing the homes and especially the school in Khan al-Ahmar is an inhumane decision violating the human rights of people already living in extremely difficult conditions because of decades of injustice,” said Tveit. “The WCC joins many in the international community who are condemning the threat to demolish this village, and calls for an immediate stop to any demolition already underway.”
Around 180 Bedouin are thought to live in wooden and tin houses in Khan al-Ahmar, tending to sheep and goats, while 170 children in the surrounding area use its school.
The situation must be resolved not only within the bounds of international law but also on a foundation of justice and peace for the people who live in the village, said Tveit.
“Bulldozing homes and destroying a school cannot be defended legally or morally as an expression of self-defense of a state,” said Tveit. “This must be seen as an unacceptable act of cruelty against people that Israel has a duty to respect and protect.”