Following continuous pressure by Israeli authorities on Bedouin communities in the Negev and the West Bank, the forcible transfer of Bedouin families and the plan to dismantle the village of Khan al-Ahmar, the S&D Group sent a letter today to Israeli Ambassador to the European Union, Mr Aharon Leshno-Yaar, in which the Group raises its voice against these actions that openly contradict international law.
S&D Group vice-president, Elena Valenciano, said:
"We condemn the continuous pressure on Bedouin communities both in the Negev and in Area C in the occupied Palestinian territory by Israeli authorities. We call again for an immediate end to this policy, and we strongly protest against the forcible transfer of any Bedouin family against its will. Khan al-Ahmar, and its famous school built of mud and rubber tyres, has become a symbol. Therefore, its demolition, which is being prepared by Israeli authorities, would not only be the tragedy of this village and its families, but would send a message to other Bedouin communities in the Negev and in the West Bank, and to Palestinians living across Israel and the occupied territory, of their vulnerability. The European Union and the international community must take immediate action to avoid this. Israel is proud to declare itself as the only democracy in the Middle East. However, a country that does not respect its obligations under international law towards the people living under its occupation (and often towards its Palestinian Arab citizens that constitute one-fifth of its population) cannot be deemed a healthy democracy.”