Israeli forces assault Palestinians, prepare to demolish village

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Israeli forces have assaulted dozens of Palestinians protesting the demolition of a Bedouin village near occupied East Jerusalem and the forcible transfer of the entire community.

According to the Palestinian Red Crescent, at least 35 Palestinians were wounded, including four who were hospitalised, during the events which took place on Wednesday at the Khan al-Ahmar village.

Videos taken by witnesses and circulated online showed Israeli forces beating and attempting to arrest men, women and children. In one video, Israeli forces were seen violently dragging a Palestinian woman on the ground and pulling off her headscarf. 

Israeli forces arrived to the scene with heavy equipment and at least one bulldozer early on Wednesday, after a long legal battle between the community’s close to 180 residents and the Israeli Supreme Court.

Khan al-Ahmar falls in Area C of the occupied West Bank – under total Israeli administrative and military control.

While the Israeli court has sanctioned the demolition of the village because it was built without the necessary construction permit, Israeli authorities rarely, if ever, approve construction permits in Area C due to the expansion of illegal Jewish-only Israeli housing settlements there. 

United Nations figures show that Israeli authorities have approved just 1.5 percent of all permit requests by Palestinians between 2010 and 2014. 

The Jahalin Bedouin community that lives in Khan al-Ahmar set up camp in the area as early as 1953, long before two Jewish-only settlements were built around it. 

The community believes they are being forcibly removed to allow Israel to expand its settlements on their land. 

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