Palestinian students ask Merkel to protect their village

RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — Palestinian schoolchildren in a West Bank hamlet slated for destruction are asking German Chancellor Angela Merkel to intervene on their behalf.

The pupils held posters of Merkel on Tuesday in Khan al-Ahmar pleading with her to pressure Israel to halt demolition plans for the encampment of corrugated shacks outside an Israeli settlement east of Jerusalem.

Merkel is set to arrive Wednesday for meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Israel says the village was illegally built and offered to resettle residents a few miles away. But Palestinians and other critics say the demolition is aimed at displacing Palestinians in favor of settlement expansion. Israel’s Supreme Court recently rejected a final appeal against the plans.

Israel has come under heavy criticism, with major European countries urging it to avoid such actions.

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