Monday, May 18, 2015

EMERGENCY: Save Susiya! Stop the Expulsion.

“Last Friday B’Tselem [] organized a visit to the Palestinian village of Khirbet Susiya in the South Hebron Hills. Dozens of Israelis joined us to express solidarity with Susiya’s residents who are facing the threat of imminent expulsion from their land.”

In the past, one Susya resident Nasr Nawajeh wrote, “They call my village an illegal Palestinian outpost. But these have been our lands since before the establishment of the State of Israel. My father is older than your state and I am not legal on my own land? I ask you: where is the justice in that?”

One and a half years ago, "Israeli settlers from the illegal settlement of Sussia attacked Saturday residents of the nearby Palestinian village of Sussiya, south of Hebron, injuring two people and killing livestock, a local official said. Jihad Nawajeh, head of the Sussiya village council, told WAFA that 13 settlers attacked the villagers throwing rocks and empty bottles at them and assaulted women and children as well as attacked livestock which the village residents raise for their living. He said a woman, Samiha Nawajeh, 40, and Nasr Nawajeh, 33, were injured in the attack and several sheep died.

The settlers also attempted to prevent village residents from picking their olive crops."

“At any moment the Israeli Civil Administration (CA) might demolish all homes and structures in Khirbet Susiya leaving the villagers with no shelter in the harsh desert conditions. The threat of demolition looms large following a decision by Israel’s High Court of Justice to deny the residents’ request for an interim injunction on demolition by the CA. For more on the risk of demolition faced by Khirbet Susiya, see B’Tselem’s website page.

The demolition would effectively mean banishing the residents from their land and their village. Based on past experience, if the residents are forced to leave their land, settlers will take it over with the support of the state – as they have already done with 300 hectares of village land.

Past demolition of a residential tent and a shack in Susiya. Photo: Nasser Nawaj'ah, B'Tselem, 24 Nov. 2011.

Demolishing all structures in the village would be both cruel and illegal. International occupation law prohibits both the demolition of homes in such circumstances and the forcible transfer of an occupied population.

The story of Khirbet Susiya is the story of many other Palestinian communities in Area C. Most Palestinians in Area C live in villages that Israeli authorities refuse to plan or to connect to the power and water grids. Residents are left no choice but to build without permits, and consequently face the constant threat of demolition and expulsion.

Khirbet Susiya’s residents need your help and support.

How can you help?

You can help their cause by sharing their story and spreading their appeal through social media using #SaveSusiya.
You can send this email to 5 friends, encouraging them to subscribe to B'Tselem's newsletter and stay updated on Susiya and other human rights issues in the occupied Palestinian Territories.
You can donate to B'Tselem and help us keep on promoting human rights.”

Reach out. Let justice, peace, and mercy flow down like a mighty stream.

In the Light,

Daniel Wilcox

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