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Court defers decision on Israeli demolition of West Bank village

By Reuters - Jul 12,2018 - Last updated at Jul 12,2018

Palestinians gesture and shout slogans during a meeting of Fateh Revolutionary Council at the Bedouin village of Khan Al Ahmar in the occupied West Bank on Thursday (Reuters photo)

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM — Israel's supreme court on Thursday deferred by at least a month the government-planned demolition of a Bedouin village in the occupied West Bank that had stirred Palestinian outrage and international concerns.

The court last week issued an 11th hour injunction against the demolition at the request of the villagers of Khan Al Ahmar, who said their attempts to secure retroactive building permits had been ignored by Israeli zoning authorities.

Responding this week, the state rejected that argument as false and as an attempt to buy time.

In Thursday's decision, the supreme court summoned both sides for a session by August 15, effectively putting the demolitions on hold.

Around 180 Bedouin, raising sheep and goats, live in tin and wood shacks in Khan Al Ahmar. It is situated outside Jerusalem between two illegal Israeli settlements.

Israel said it plans to relocate the residents to an area about 12km away, near the Palestinian village of Abu Dis.

But the new site is adjacent to a landfill, and rights advocates say that a forcible transfer of the residents would violate international law applying to occupied territory.

Most countries consider settlements built by Israel on land it captured in the 1967 Middle East War as illegal, and an obstacle to peace. They say they reduce and fragment the territory Palestinians seek for a viable state in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.

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