Alerts and Reports 

Solidarity sukkah in Khan al-Achmar

A message from Rabbis for Human Rights (RHR): May we all dwell in our homes and temporary structures in peace and faith in G-d’s protective presence. This year we are setting up our sukkah in Khan al-Achmar in a show of solidarity against the threatened demolition of the village. Come, build & sit with us! The residents are waiting for us.

This Sukkot, we are all the Jahalin Bedouin of Khan al-Achmar!

Even if the village is destroyed, the residents will remain nearby it. The Bedouin actually live all year long on Sukkot.

We will express solidarity with our Bedouin brothers, and we will live as they do for a little bit. We will remember that our forefathers lived as free human beings, 40 years in the Sinai Desert. We will sit on Sukkot in the Judean Desert during the seven days of the festival. We will live a life of confidence in our temporary quarters, together with members of the Jahalin tribe, who have been living in this very temporary, vulnerable situation for years...


* All welcome during any days of the holiday, from the 23-30*

SEPT 21: Building the sukkah SEPT 23: Erev Sukkot, whoever wants to join is invited SEPT 26: Main event. Dvar torah to be delivered by RHR President Rabbi Levi Weiman Kelman


What to bring? Bring your sukkah, or a tent. Sleeping bags. We need to bring water, food, toilet paper. We will be able to buy fresh goat milk, labaneh, butter and fresh pitas from the residents.


On September 5 2018 the High Court of Israel ruled to allow the demolition of the Palestinian-Bedouin village Khan al Achmar to proceed.

• The village was established prior to Israel taking control of the West Bank in 1967 • The village sits on lands that the Israeli High Court defined as privately owned Palestinian lands that “may have been confiscated in the past.” • Due to the traditional way of life of the village, it has never been recognized by the State of Israel • When a village is “unrecognized,” the path to gaining building permits is nearly completely inaccessible from the onset. Therefore, any building attempts are considered “illegal” despite the intentions of residents. • Israel rejects plans for legalizing the village on the pretext that it is adjacent to a highway. This remains despite attempts, according to Israeli NGO Bimkom, at alternative plans to move the village slightly further away from the road. Meanwhile, nearby settlements — not under the threat of demolition— also appear to have built adjacent to highways. • The neighboring settlement of Kfar Adumim, some of which was built on private Palestinian land, is not being demolished. • Despite this clearly unjust and discriminatory context, the High Court of Israel is allowing the state to demolish the village.

JERUSALEM POST: "High Court gives final okay to destroy Bedouin village of Khan al Achmar" -->

NOT IN THE AREA? Leave a comment on Prime Minister Netanyahu's Facebook page letting him know that the village must be saved!


Dear Prime Minister Netanyahu,

You wish all the citizens of Israel a sweet new year & joy in their sukkahs, but to the Bedouin residents of Khan al-Achmar living in their vulnerable sukkah-like homes and its 150 school children, awaiting the bulldozers to destroy their homes and beloved school, you send only fear and bitterness.

Although they are not citizens they live under Israeli military control. They are unwillingly subjected to its discriminatory building regulations and selective enforcement of laws that favors their Jewish neighbors in luxurious settlements. What kind of year should they have? One of displacement & trauma it seems.

As a Jew I call upon you to halt the planned demolition of the Bedouin village Khan al-Ahmar. It's destruction is a grave violation of our Jewish moral commitment to protect the rights of the Ger (non-Jews) and an affront to the commandment to have one law for both the Jew and the Ger. Such an act is the direct opposite of loving our neighbor as ourselves and it would be shameful application of the double standard "eiphah ve’eiphah"!

Time is of the essence. You do not have to allow the demolition to go forward. Let it stand & respect our Torah, whose ways are "ways of pleasantness, and all it paths are peace." Let the coming months be sweet FOR ALL people in our region.

"Do not mistreat or oppress a stranger, for you were strangers in Egypt." Deuteronomy 22:21

The Oslo Accords did not fail. The Oslo Accords were simply not implemented.

On the twenty-fifth anniversary of the historic handshake between Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat, one must remember and remind of the truth: The Oslo Accords did not fail. The Oslo Accords were simply not implemented. The non-implementation of the agreements had already cost thousands of lives and may many more lives.

The Oslo Accords had set an interim period of five years that began in April 1994. The situation in which the Palestinian Authority holds only a collection of isolated enclaves, having no real power even there, was to end in May 1999. Likelwise, the division of the West Bank into the A., B. and C. areas was intended to be a temporary arrangement for only these five years, from 1994 to 1999. At the end of five years, all this should have been come to its end, replaced by implementation of the Definite Status.

The Palestinians expected, as a matter of course, that the Definite Status would involve the end of the Israeli occupation regime and the establishment of an independent and sovereign Palestinian state. The reason Yasser Arafat signed the Oslo Accords was the assumption and expectation that a Palestinian state would emerge in 1999. For his part Yitzhak Rabin, a man who had devoted most of his life to war, knew that peace is made with the enemy. He fully and seriously intended to carry out what he had signed, and reach full peace with the Palestinians.

Had Arafat known that in 2018 the IDF would still be holding the whole of the West Bank and imposing a stangling siege on the Gaza Strip, and that the Israeli settlements would be growing and expanding, he would certainly not have dreamed of signing the agreement. Nor would Mahmoud Abbas or any other Palestinian leader have signed the Oslo Accords, ciuld he have known that this would be the outcome.

The goal for which the Palestinians signed the agreement - ending the occupation and establishing a Palestinian state - did not come about. The State of Israel had not kept its part of the agreement. Naturally, also the State of Israel and its citizens did not gain what they expected – namely, an end to the conflict with the Palestinians and the achievement of peace and good neighborly relations. Had the Oslo Accords been implemented and the Definite Status carried out in 1999, we could have now been entering the twentieth year of peace between the State of Israel and the State of Palestine, and and the casualties of the Second Intifada and the years after it would have still been alive and well among us.

A new year begins with the destruction of Khan al-Ahmar

B’Tselem to EU: Clarify that demolition of Khan al-Ahmar will have consequences for Israel

After the High Court ruling, which greenlighted the state’s plan to demolish the community within a week, B’Tselem’s director wrote urgently to EU foreign policy chief Mogherini yesterday, warning that Israel is trampling the shared values that are at the core of its relationship with the EU.

B’Tselem director Hagai El-Ad wrote yesterday (8 September) to the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, calling upon the European Union to act urgently to prevent the destruction of the Khan al-Ahmar community, after Israel’s High Court gave the demolition plan the go-ahead earlier this week (5 September). According to the ruling, the state may demolish all the structures in the community, including a school attended by some 180 children, about half of them from other communities, as of the middle of next week.

In the letter, El-Ad quoted a statement from 18 July by Mogherini herself, in which she warned Israel that destroying the community would have serious consequences. According to El-Ad, “we have reached the juncture where it appears that these serious consequences must be spelled out, if the EU is to credibly back its own positions.”

Regarding the High Court ruling, El-Ad noted that “in their occupation-serving decision, the justices ignored both the context of a completely one-sided planning regime, where building ‘legally’ is an option reserved for settlers and denied from protected persons – as well as the broader Israeli intention, to minimize Palestinian presence throughout Area C, displace local communities, and expand settlements.”

“The EU obviously has ample leverage to affect a concrete impact, by showing Israel that unacceptable human rights violations will have serious consequences and spelling out exactly what it stands to lose”, wrote El-Ad. “Every day that goes by without any of the numerous tangibles Israel stands to lose being made conditional upon it ending human rights abuses against millions of Palestinians – and ending the occupation – articulates to the Israeli leadership, and to the Israeli public, that the EU accepts the current reality, and that, in fact, it is helping to sustain and advance it.”

“The destruction of an entire Palestinian community is the clearest recent expression of Israel’s unabashed disregard for the supposed shared values that presumably lie at the core of its relationship with the EU”, noted El-Ad, and ended by saying: “We are potentially less than a week away from the destruction of an entire Palestinian village. What may follow will dictate the fate of Palestinian communities all over the West Bank. If not act now, when?”

The residents of Khan al-Ahmar belong to the Bedouin Jahalin tribe. In the 1950s they were driven out of the area of Tel Arad in the Negev (within Israel) and made their new home in the West Bank, at a site where the settlement of Kfar Adumim was later established. They were driven out again and took up residence at their current location, some two kilometers south of the settlement. The community consists of 32 families that make up a total of 173 residents, 92 of them minors. In addition to homes, the community has a mosque and a school that serves some 180 children, about half of them from neighboring Palestinian communities.

For years, Israel has been endeavoring to displace this community for a variety of reasons, including the expansion of nearby settlements, de facto annexation of the area – without its Palestinian residents – and bisecting the West Bank. Expelling the community – or forcing its residents to leave by creating unbearable living conditions – will violate the prohibition on forcible transfer in international humanitarian law. The violation will constitute a war crime. Personal liability for the commission of this crime will be not only that of policy-makers – including the prime minister, senior minister, the chief of staff and the head of the Civil Administration – but also of those who paved the juridical route enabling it.

For additional information: Amit Gilutz, +972-54-6841126, Our mailing address is B'Tselem, The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories P.O. Box 53132, Jerusalem 9153002

Happy new year to Isaac & Ishmael!

Several miles east of Jerusalem, some 180 children are studying – for now – in a school made of tires and mud. A new school year has just begun in Khan al-Ahmar, but with the High Court’s recent approval Israel intends, in the coming days, to demolish the entire community, including the school, and expel the residents.

Several miles south of Jerusalem, the Da'na family is recovering from a familiar nightmare. Soldiers again entered their Hebron home in the middle of the night, this time during 'Eid al-Adha. They arrested 17-year-old 'Udai, after one soldier commented to the boy’s father: “We’re behaving well. If we weren’t, we'd grab you and take you by force.”

Several miles north of Jerusalem, the villagers of 'Urif are waking to another day of occupation violence: settler militias backed and aided by the military are assaulting them, as part of a broader strategy to strengthen Israeli control and take over more land. While “the rule of law” is bandied about, the law itself is serving to both perpetrate violence and cover it up.

Meanwhile, several miles to the west, we are living in Israel, ruling over the lives of millions of Palestinian subjects in Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Every day we decide, over their heads and under their feet, how they will live their lives.

For more than half a century, since the Jewish year 5727 (1967), we have had the rights and privileges – they, oppression and dispossession. Now, with the year of 5779 about to begin, this reality is truer than ever, with the Deputy Knesset Speaker talking of Gaza “population dilution” and the Justice Minister, as well as the Defense Minister, celebrating the sanctioning of yet another “legal” abomination.

With your help, we will continue – this new Jewish year and for as long as it takes – to expose the facts, document reality and capture it on video, in order to inform you and the rest of the world, and play our part in this struggle. When we are all “heads” and no one is a “tail”, we will be able to celebrate a year of rights.

Shanah Tovah,

Hagai El-Ad

Executive Director, B’Tselem

Uri Avnery - 1923-2018. His opponents will ultimately have to follow in his footsteps

We have this evening said the final goodbye. The hall in which Uri Avnery's coffin had been placed was very crowded. There were TV cameras and Knesset Members from various parties, and a high level Palestinian delegation and very many people who had either known Uri personally or read his articles and books and heard about him. There were very moving speeches and eulogies. And then it was over and the body was taken to be cremated - as he specifically asked and arranged for, already some time ago. His ashes will be scattered by his closest friends in the seashore of Tel Aviv, which he loved. We will never again see him on the way to the beach, nor hear his voice or read a new article by him. But we will continue his life work without him, as best we can, as he wanted and expected of us, and because it is our own cause.

To all the very many who wrote us expressing support and condolences in this sad hour, many thanks and our apologies for not being able to give personal answers - the flood is simply far too overwhelming.

Previous message: The coffin of veteran peace activist Uri Avnery will be placed tomorrow (Wednesday) between 5-6 pm in Beit Sokolov (Journalists' Association House) at 4 Kaplan St., Tel Aviv. That is a suitable and worthy location for a man who has made a major contribution to the development of the Israeli press. All who cherish his memory are heartily invited to come and pay their final respects. At Avnery's request, his body will be cremated. There will be no possibility of public presence during the cremation itself.

Contact: Adam Keller +972-54-2340749 Anat Saragusti +972-54-2151991

Gush Shalom grieves and mourns the passing of its founder, Uri Avnery. Until the last moment he continued the way he had traveled all his life. On Saturday, two weeks ago, he collapsed in his home when he was about to leave for the Rabin Square and attend a demonstration against the "Nation State Law", a few hours after he wrote a sharp article against that law.

Avnery devoted himself entirely to the struggle to achieve peace between the State of Israel and the Palestinian people in their independent state, as well as between Israel and the Arab and Muslim World. He did not get to the end of the road, did not live to see peace come about. We – the members of Gush Shalom as well as very many other people who were directly and indirectly influenced by him - will continue his mission and honor his memory.

On the day of the passing of Uri Avnery, the most right wing government in the history of Israel is engaged in negotiations with Hamas. Ironically, the same demagoguery accusations which were hurled at Uri Avnery throughout his life are now made against Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman.

In the history of the State of Israel, Uri Avnery will be inscribed as a far-seeing visionary who pointed to a way which others failed to see. It is the fate and future of the State of Israel to reach peace with its neighbors and to integrate into the geographical and political region in which it is located. Avnery's greatest opponents will ultimately have to follow in his footsteps - because the State of Israel has no other real choice.

Contact: Adam Keller, Gush Shalom Spokesperson +972-54-2340749