Israel said on Sunday it would put on hold for “a number of weeks” its threatened razing of a Bedouin village in the occupied West Bank amid international calls to drop the plan, saying it would try to negotiate an evacuation.
The decision was announced after a meeting of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s security cabinet.
Israel, which has long sought to clear the Arab nomads from tracts of land between the Jewish settlements of Maale Adumim and Kfar Adumim, has said the hamlet of Khan al-Ahmar was built without the required permits.
Palestinians, who lost an Israeli Supreme Court appeal against the evacuation, say such documents are impossible to obtain.
The European Union and the United Nations have urged Israel to abandon the plan to demolish Khan al-Ahmar and relocate its 180 residents to an area about 12 km (seven miles) away next to a landfill in the West Bank.
Foreign pressure was ramped up on Wednesday when the International Criminal Court prosecutor said in a statement about Khan al-Ahmar that population transfers in occupied territory constitute war crimes. Israel captured the West Bank in a 1967 war.