Friday, July 6, 2012

Israel orders destruction of entire West Bank village

On 22 June, more than 500 Palestinian, Israeli and international activists came together in the Palestinian herding community of Susya, in the West Bank’s South Hebron Hills, to protest a recent Israeli high court ruling for the demolition of the village and the ongoing Israeli attacks on Palestinian land rights in the West Bank.

The activists, arriving by organized buses from Jerusalem and Tel Aviv and independently from all over the region, met with the residents of Susya and attempted to march towards the location of the original Susya, which was demolished in 1986 and is now an archaeological park.

They were confronted by Israeli soldiers, who fired stun grenades into and around the crowds of people, while several rounds of tear gas were simultaneously released.

On 6 June, Israel’s high court issued a decision that prohibits Susya residents from building any new structures near the surrounding Israeli settlements.

Six days later, Israeli officials — accompanied by soldiers — handed out demolition orders to the entire West Bank village. These orders referred to demolition decisions stretching back to 1995.

Settlers petition high court to wipe out village

The decision by the high court was in response to a petition filed by the Zionist organization Regavim, which called on the Israeli Civil Administration — the body overseeing Israel’s occupation of the West Bank — to accelerate the demolition process for Susya and other Palestinian villages. The residents of Susya are being represented in the case by lawyers from Rabbis for Human Rights. More