The International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda yesterday warned Israel against demolishing the Palestinian Bedouin village of Khan Al-Ahmar and displacing its residents saying the action could constitute a “war crime”. “Extensive destruction of property without military necessity and population transfers in an occupied territory constitute war crimes under the Rome Statute,” Bensouda said in a statement. “I continue to keep a close eye on the developments on the ground and will not hesitate to take any appropriate action,” she added.
Khan Al-Ahmar was slated for demolition on 1 October but as yet remains standing. On Thursday, the Israeli army was deployed in large numbers around the village, with local sources saying more than 30 battalions were stationed at the gates and roads leading to the village. The leadership of the Israeli civil administration, the Israeli body which administers the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt), were also seen on a nearby hilltop with maps in their hands.