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State of Palestine: Khan Al-Ahmar residents rally after rejecting relocation offer

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Hundreds participated in Friday prayers in Khan Al-Ahmar in a symbolic act of solidarity with residents of the Palestinian village which is set to be demolished by Israeli forces.

Prayers later transformed to protest as demonstrators marched down to the main road chanting and waving Palestinian flags.

Secretary General of Palestinian National Initiative Mustafa Al-Barghouti addressed protesters saying, “We are here in Khan Al-Ahmar not only to defend the village but to defend our dignity and honour as Palestinian people.”

“What is happening to our people here in Khan Al-Ahmar and the West Bank is the same as the bombing and destruction of our people in Gaza,” he added.

On Tuesday, the 52 residing families in Khan Al-Ahmar rejected an offer issued by the Israeli Supreme Court to relocate to a location in Jericho, some 8.5 kilometres away from the village.

According to a statement released by the families’ attorney Tawfiq Jabareen, the families “reject the plan of the State of Israel and wish to continue living in Al Khan al-Ahmar.”

The Israeli Supreme Court approved the request to demolish the village in May, claiming that Khan al-Ahmar was built illegally without an Israeli permit and that the residents should relocate to the nearby village Al-Jabel.

However, this month the Israeli Supreme Court has issued a temporary injunction to block the demolition and has agreed to hold another hearing in August. The demolitions are to remain on hold until then.

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