This video looks back on the summer months and gives a brief insight into ‘the struggle to save Susiya‘. It features interviews with Nasser Nawaja, a local peace activist and resident of Susiya.
On May 5 2015 Israel’s High Court of Justice ruled to allow the army to demolish the entire Palestinian village of Susiya, in the South Hebron Hills, and expel its residents from Area C to Area A of the Occupied Territories.* The court ruling puts Susiya’s 340 residents, including 120 children, at imminent risk of forced displacement.
Over the summer months Palestinians, Israelis and internationals united in their efforts to save Susiya from demolition and oppose the Government of Israel’s discriminatory planning and construction policies in Area C. On June 16 the Civil Administration notified residents of its intention to demolish the ‘illegal structures’ in Susiya after Ramadan. The Civil Administration’s announcement sparked international condemnation from the EU, the UN and the US state department.
On Friday July 24 2015, Susiya became the site of one of the largest joint protests in the recent history of the Occupied Territories. The demonstration was organised by Rabbis for Human Rights along with Israeli NGOs B’Tselem, Combatants for Peace, and Ta’ayush.
Unfortunately the only thing that is exceptional about the crisis in Susiya is the level of international support it has received. Sadly it is part of an ongoing trend of demolitions and displacement in Israeli occupied Palestine.
Thus far in 2015, 294 structures have been demolished and 251 people have been displaced. UNOCHA reports that the figures for 2015 are higher than its equivalent figures in 2014 and 2013. See full text here.
Many Palestinians build without permits and risk demolition to meet their basic housing needs. Unless the residents of Susiya are granted building permits by the Israeli Civil Administration their village will be demolished. According to UNOCHA, 94% of applications for building permits by Palestinians living in area C are denied.
46,394 structure have been demolished in occupied Palestinian since 1967.
These demolitions are driven by a number of occupation-related policies, including settlement activity.
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*Under the Oslo Accord the West Bank was divided into three administrative zones; Areas A, B and C. Area C is under full Israeli civil and security control while Area A is controlled by the Palestinian Authority. Area B is under Palestinian civil control and joint Israeli-Palestinian security control.
Learn more about Restrictions on Palestinian planning and construction in Area C
Learn more about Susiya struggle against forced displacement
Susiya Update: High Court hearing postponed
See related media round up here: Susiya the Symbol