Palestinians and right groups condemned a decision by an Israeli court that gave the green light for the military to demolish a Bedouin village in the occupied West Bank, forcibly evicting 180 residents there.
In a statement on Wednesday, the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority said the decision to raze the Khan al-Ahmar village consolidates Israel's "colonial project" of building "an arc of settlements" that effectively cut off occupied East Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank.
"This illegal decision uncovers the colonial DNA of Israel's institutions that work to confiscate Palestinian lands ... effectively alienating it from the West Bank and killing any hopes for a future contiguous Palestinian state," it said.
Khan al-Ahmar is situated a few kilometres from Jerusalem in the middle of two major illegal Israeli settlements, Maale Adumim and Kfar Adumim, which the Israeli government wants to expand. The removal of the Bedouin village enables the Israeli government to cut the West Bank in two.
The High Court rejected petitions against the demolition and said a temporary injunction that had put a hold on the move would lapse in a week.
"Khan al-Ahmar will be evacuated. I congratulate the Supreme Court judges for their brave decision. Nobody [is] above law. Nobody can prevent us from consolidating our sovereignty," Lieberman said.
The mood in the village, where residents attended a protest after the ruling, was despondent.
"We have gone through all the procedures in court, now we can do nothing more," said Tawfiq Jabareen, a lawyer for the community. "If anything can prevent the demolition, it is the political process."
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