Responding to criticism of the government’s decision to postpone the evacuation of the illegal Bedouin outpost at Khan al-Ahmar, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu made clear at the weekly Cabinet meeting on Sunday evening of his resolve to carry out the evacuation in the coming days.
“Khan al-Ahmar will be evacuated, with or without agreement. It will not take weeks; it will be much shorter. We will make several vital preparatory moves in the international arena. We will give a last chance for evacuation by agreement but, in any case, Khan al-Ahmar will be evacuated. I am not talking about a cosmetic evacuation but a real evacuation.
“Neither do I need fictitious ultimatums because we are all united around one goal, to evacuate this illegal construction. There is no argument about this. A ‘fake’ argument is being created. Khan al-Ahmar will be evacuated and very soon,” he said.
Earlier in the day, right-wing critics, including from within the coalition, accused Mr. Netanyahu of capitulating to international pressure not to demolish the village, even though the High Court has authorized it.
In particular, a warning issued last week by Fatou Bensouda, the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, that the ICC is monitoring the situation and that the planned evacuation could result in legal action against Israel, was said to be a key factor in the postponement.