The ultimatum issued by the Civil Administration to the residents of Khan al-Ahmar officially expired at the beginning of this week, yet none of the illegal Bedouin residents have destroyed their dwellings in preparation for their relocation and therefore Israel may implement the demolition orders as stated in the notice given to the residents on 23 September.
However, the evacuation will not take place as long as German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who arrives Wednesday evening on a state visit remains in Israel because of political sensibilities. Bedouin children in Khan al-Ahmar demonstrated on Wednesday with Merkel’s pictures and called on her to help them prevent the demolition of the village. Merkel is expected to raise the issue at a meeting with Netanyahu on Thursday, when she is expected to rebuke her counterpart for the escalation in Gaza and for Israel’s activities in Area C.
Chancellor Merkel will visit Yad Vashem on Thursday and place a wreath in the Hall of Remembrance. She will then receive an honorary doctorate from the University of Haifa in a special ceremony at the Israel Museum where she will meet German, Jewish and Arab students. The museum will also feature an innovation exhibition which both Merkel and PM Netanyahu will tour together with businessmen from Israel and Germany.
Merkel will lunch tomorrow afternoon with President Reuven Rivlin, and at 2 PM will meet with Netanyahu in private for the rebuke session. The two will hold a press conference afterwards.
Merkel will not visit Ramallah and will not meet with representatives from the Palestinian Authority, because, as the German embassy put it this week: “The focus of the visit is on relations with Israel and she will meet with Israeli representatives.”