September 24, 2017
B'Tselem Executive Director, Hagai El-Ad said, following the State's response submitted earlier today to the High Court of Justice, that the state was asking the court to authorize a war crime: "No sanctimonious language about a ‘planning, proprietary and realistic’ alternate, or ‘time to prepare’ can erase the disgrace or hide the facts: the destruction of Khan al-Ahmar means the forcible transfer of protected persons, and forcible transfer is a war crime. Those responsible for it will bear personal criminal liability – exactly as B’Tselem stated two weeks ago, in a letter addressed to the prime minister, defense minister, justice minister, chief of staff and the head of the Civil Administration."
According to updated data, the Khan al-Ahmar community, which lives on land Israel has earmarked for settlement expansion in the area, is home to 32 families numbering 173 persons, including 92 minors. It has a mosque and a school, which was established in 2009 and serves more than 150 children between the ages of six and fifteen – some of them from neighboring communities.