Theresa May: Israel's demolition of Khan Al-Ahmar 'a major blow for two-state solution'

The PM urged Israel not to go ahead with plans to demolish the Bedouin village in the West Bank


Theresa May has described Israel’s planned demolition of the Bedouin village of Khan Al-Ahmar in the West Bank as a “major blow for the prospects of a two state solution with Jerusalem as a shared capital” with the Palestinians.

The prime minister confirmed that Alistair Burt, the minister for the Middle East, had met with the Israeli ambassador to discuss the issue on October 11.

During Wednesday's Prime Minister's Questions, the PM said: “I once again call on the Israeli government not to go ahead with the demolition of the village, including its school, and displacing its residents.”

The issue was raised by Scottish Lib Dem MP Alistair Carmichael, who told the House of Commons that the “forcible removal” of those deemed a protected people by the United Nations would “constitute a war crime”.

Mr Carmichael said that earlier on Wednesday, Israeli forces had “tasered and pepper sprayed” activists protesting against the planned demolition.

On Wednesday, the International Criminal Court's chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda repeated the suggestion that the destruction of the Bedouin village would constitute a war crime and added: “Evacuation by force now appears imminent."

Israel says Khan al-Ahmar was built illegally and has offered to resettle its residents a few miles away. But critics say the demolition aims to displace Palestinians in favour of Israeli settlement expansion.

The European Parliament passed a resolution last month calling the decision to demolish and transfer Khan al-Ahmar a breach of international humanitarian law.

The resolution also demands compensation from Israel for the destruction of European Union-funded infrastructure in the village.

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