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Netanyahu emphasizes: Khan al-Ahmar will be evacuated


'The amount of time given for trying to evacuate it with agreement will be established by the cabinet. It will be short,' PM asserts.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu downplayed reports that he had delayed the evacuation of the illegal Bedouin outpost known as “Khan al-Ahmar.”

On Saturday, sources in the Prime Minister’s Office said that the government is holding off on demolishing Khan Al-Ahmar in order to “exhaust negotiations and proposals received from various sources, including some in the past few days.”

The announcement came after International Criminal Court Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda threatened that Israel could be prosecuted for war crimes if it goes ahead with the demolition. "Extensive destruction of property without military necessity and population transfers in an occupied territory constitute war crimes," she said.

She added, "I will not hesitate to take any appropriate action within the framework of my authority according to the Rome Statute" enabling the ICC to prosecute world leaders.

Speaking during a press briefing with US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Netanyahu emphasized that the evacuation of the outpost was in accordance with court ruling, and asserted that it would only be postponed for a “set, short time.”

“Khan al-Ahmar will be evacuated, this is the decision of the court, this is our policy, and it will also be implemented,” he said.

“Contrary to reports, I have no intention of postponing this until further notice, but for a set, short time.”

“The amount of time given for trying to evacuate it with agreement will be established by the cabinet. I will convene the cabinet today, we will establish [the amount of time], it will be short, and I also believe it will be with agreement.”

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