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Eight EU nations urge Israel to reconsider West Bank village demolition

The village is located in a strategic spot near Israeli settlements [AFP[

Date of publication: 21 September, 2018

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Eight EU nations have said they will 'not give up' on a two-state solution despite Israeli plans to demolish a Palestinian West Bank village.

Eight European Union nations are underlining their opposition to Israel's planned demolition of the Palestinian village of Khan al-Ahmar and are urging its government to reconsider the decision.

The statement was read by Dutch Ambassador Karel Van Oosterom outside the UN Security Council on Thursday. It rebuked the Israeli High Court's September 5 decision to demolish the desert community.

The eight countries are France, Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, United Kingdom, Belgium, Germany and Italy. They say in the statement that they "will not give up on a negotiated two-state solution with Jerusalem as a capital" of both Israel and a new Palestinian state.

That was an implicit slap at US President Donald Trump's declaration in December that contested Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.

Following a visit to Khan al-Ahmar on Wednesday, a delegation of EU Parliamentarians accused Israel of committing a war crime.

The delegation of six, chaired by Cypriot European Member of Parliament Neoklis Sylikiotis, visited the village and met with Khan al-Ahmar residents and activists who formed a vigil in an attempt to deter Israel from demolishing the village.

On September 5, Israel's supreme court upheld an order to raze the village on grounds it was built without the proper permits.

It is extremely rare for Palestinians to be given Israeli permits to build in Area C of the West Bank, where Khan al-Ahmar is situated.

The village is located in a strategic spot near Israeli settlements and along a road leading to the Dead Sea.

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