Local and International Communities Say NO to Demolishing Susia
More than 140 human rights organizations, activists and social justice movements raised their voice to freeze the brutal Israeli occupation’s order of completely demolishing the village of Susia and forcibly displacing its residents. Activists and organizations from different parts of the world signed UAWC’s position paper to say NO to: land confiscation for establishing illegal settlements, trees uprooting, physical and verbal assaults, and demolition of agricultural properties.
UAWC wrote its latest position paper when the Israeli Occupation’s high court confirmed its approval to the Israeli military army to demolish the entire Palestinian village of Susia to the south of Hebron thus forcibly displace all of its residents (approximately 350 inpiduals). This brutal violation follows a previous violation that took place in January 2015, when the Israeli settlers from “Susiya” Settlement –that was established on the Palestinian land of Susia Village to the South of Hebron – chopped down 345 olive trees belonging to Palestinian farmers in Masafer Yata to the south of Hebron.
According to media resources, on May 5 2015, High Court Judge Noam Solberg rejected the request for an interim order by the Palestinian village of Susia represented in a petition against the Civil Administration’s decision to reject the master plan prepared by the village and subsequent demolition of the entire village.
UAWC and its agricultural committees organized a solidarity stand with the residents of Susia. UAWC’s Acting General Director Fuad Abu Seif stressed that UAWC will continue its work in empowering Palestinian farmers and reinforcing their resistance on their land. Abu Seif called the Palestinian Authority to bring the case of Susia along with other cases to the international courts. Abu Seif also stressed on the importance of the international communities intervention to freeze this occupational order.
“Susia is consciously targeted from the occupation, if this order is implemented tens of families will become without shelters,” said the head of Susia’s village council Jihad Nawaj’a. Nawaj’a added that the people of Susia appreciate UAWC’s efforts in supporting Susia from the past and till now. “We will never leave our land,” Nawaj’a ended his speech.
Susia’s residents’ fight for their land began in 1986 when the village was declared as an archaeological site, its land was confiscated, and its residents, who lived in caves, were deported. While the Palestinians were told that they could not reside in an archeological site, Israeli settlers live in an illegal outpost located inside the archeological site. Susia’s residents, since then, resided on a land very close to their original land. Yet, because they live on area C in the West Bank they were unable to receive Israeli building permits for their simple tents and were constantly threatened with demolition orders. It is important to note that the occupation rejects 90% of Palestinian planning requests in Area C; on the other hand Israeli settlements are continuously expanding on Palestinian land, despite its violation to international law.