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From Al-Araqib to Susiya

iadalah · May 14, 2013

Forced Displacement on Both Sides of the Green Line

Adalah captures the stories of two Palestinian villages, Al-Araqib and Susiya — one in Israel, one in the West Bank — that share a single story of struggle against forced displacement.

For more info…
Read a Factsheet: http://bit.ly/2V-1S-Factsheet
Read Position Paper http://bit.ly/2V-1S-PosPaper

Want to help?
Sign petition against Prawer: http://www.avaaz.org/en/petition/Stop…
Keep up to date and sign up to Adalah’s mailing list: http://bit.ly/Eng-NL-signup

July 13, 2013 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Susiya resists mass demolition orders

“We will not give up; to give up is to die”

International Solidarity Movement | June 27, 2013

Susiya, Occupied Palestine – Today, June 27, 2013, the Israeli Civil Administration served thirty-four demolition orders in the Susiya village, which is in Area C and surrounded by the Israeli colony of Suseya.  Due to previous demolition orders, every existing structure in the village is now threatened with destruction if they do not obtain permits by July 17.

Original copies of all the demolition orders served today (Photo by ISM)

Original copies of all the demolition orders served today (Photo by ISM)

The residents of Susiya include more than thirty families, who were all evacuated from their homes in the old Susiya village and forced to relocate 200 meters to the southeast, in 1986.  Susiya residents collaborate with the nearby villages in Masafer Yatta, a closed military “firing zone,” also in Area C and threatened with demolition.  On July 15, a hearing will decide whether all the villages in Masafer Yatta can be evacuated by the military.  Hafez Huraini, leader of the South Hebron Hills Popular Committee and himself a refugee from 1948, emphasizes that the villagers in Susiya are targeted simply for existing, so everything they do from grazing sheep to visiting family members in the nearby city of Yatta draws violence from the Israeli military and the local settlers.

Susiya has faced six mass demolitions since the establishment of the Israeli Suseya colony in 1983.  The last wave of demolitions in 2011 repeatedly displaced 37 people including 20 children [1]. Residents of Susiya, most of whom rely on subsistence agriculture, are subject to some of the worst living conditions in the West Bank.  Their houses were destroyed by Israeli forces and they now live in tents and shelters, paying more than five times the price nearby villages pay for water and consuming less than 1/3 of the WHO standard per capita [2].  Settlers have violently denied Susiya residents access to over 300 hectares of their land, including 23 water cisterns.  Documented cases of settler violence include beatings, verbal harassment and destruction of property.  Settlers then annex parts of the land by exploiting the Palestinian owners’ inability to access their land.

Of over 120 complaints that have been filed based on monitoring from Rabbis for Human Rights, regarding settler attacks and damage to property, around 95 percent have been closed with no action taken.  In 2010, when 55 Susiya residents petitioned the High Court to be granted access to their land, the State responded that it intended to map land ownership of the area.  Since then they have only closed to settlers 13% of the land Palestinians have been denied access to, reversing only one incursion [3].

Susiya has been the site of creative non-violent resistance for years, resistance that is continually met with brutality.  Events have included marches, picnics on land likely to be confiscated, and Palestinian “outposts.”  This coming Saturday Susiya will be part of a festival in the South Hebron Hills aimed at raising awareness about the situation of Masafer Yatta residents and stress their right to remain on their land [4].  In the words of Hafez Huraini, coordinator of the South Hebron Hills Popular Committee, “We will not give up.”

Sources:

[1] Strickland, Patrick O. “Palestine’s Front Line: The Struggle for Susiya.” Palestine Note RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 June 2013.

[2] “Susiya: At Imminent Risk of Forced Displacement.” Susiya: At Imminent Risk of Forced Displacement – OCHA Factsheet (30 March 2012). N.p., Mar. 2012. Web. 27 June 2013.

[3] “South Hebron Hills.” Khirbet Susiya. N.p., 01 Jan. 2013. Web. 27 June 2013.

[4] Al Mufaqarah. “Al Mufaqarah R-Exist.” Weblog post. Al Mufaqarah RExist. N.p., 24 June 2013. Web. 27 June 2013.

June 27, 2013 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Israeli security officer brutally beats unarmed Palestinian shepherd

By Saed Bannoura | IMEMC News | March 12, 2013

Israeli activists caught on film an attack by an Israeli settlement security guard on a Palestinian shepherd Monday, near the Palestinian village of Susya in the southern West Bank on Monday.

The shepherd was identified as Na’al Abu Aram, but the Israeli security guard, apparently from the Israeli illegal outpost called ‘Avigail’ that was built on stolen Palestinian land, was not identified.

The guard beat, punched, kicked and shoved the shepherd, then ran after his flock of sheep to scare them. Two Israeli soldiers were present at the time of the beating, but they did not intervene.

Avigail was established on stolen land by former Israeli soldiers in 2001. The soldiers entered the land, which belongs to local Palestinians, and installed trailers. They moved in, heavily armed, and began to harass the local villagers and shepherds. No attempt has been made by the Israeli government to remove the trespassing Israelis from the land that they illegally seized by force.

In Monday’s incident, the security guard told reporters with Ynetnews, which obtained and published the video of the incident, that he was being unfairly slandered, and that it was the shepherd who attacked him.

He claimed that the local residents were being accompanied by ‘anarchist activists’ who try to ‘incite provocations’. The guard was apparently referring to Israeli human rights workers who arrived on the scene to try to document abuses reported to them by local Palestinian residents.

March 12, 2013 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Palestinian voice from Susiya, a Palestinian village that existed before the establishment of the State of Israel

By Eva Bartlett | In Gaza | July 30, 2012

Five years ago, I met Nasser Nawaja and his family, and the community of Palestinian Susiya (not to be confused with the illegal Zionist colony of Susiya, in the same south of Hebron, West Bank area, whose colonists regularly viciously attack and aggress  Susiya Palestinians, including elderly, children and women).

When in 2007 I met Nasser, his parents, his wife, brothers and extended family, they had been enduring for years, almost two decades, aggressions by the Israeli army and by Zionist colonists. They had been forcibly moved from their very functional, cool in summer, and innovative cave homes to arid dessert land on which, periodically, the Israeli occupation army would invade and destroy the ramshackle homes these displaced families had constructed.

The layers of injustice inflicted on these peaceable, innovative people are countless, and in the many months I spent with them in 2007, I and other justice activists I joined, attempted to document both the injustices heaped upon these Palestinians and the beauty of their sustainably-living lives–when not attacked by the IOF and Zionist colonists (see Susiya Palestinians suffer).

*Khalil Nawaja, 2007, his leg broken by Zionist colonists in 2006

    

*photo of 2008 Zionist attack on Imran Nawaja, Khalil, and his wife Manam, and other family members, courtesy B’Tselem “shooting back”  documentation project–photo and video footage taken by Khalil Nawaja’s neice

Nasser has in the past few years–and against all odds, while providing for his wife and children and documenting the injustices inflicted on his community (at the expense of his own personal safety, many times attacked and beaten by Zionist colonists and for no reason except Occupation arrested by the IOF)–studiously expanded his knowledge of human rights law and the English language, to the point that he is able to now write poignant articles in well-read alternative press.

Please see his op-ed “Palestinian from Area C on a life in constant need of rebuilding” –wherein he describes Susiya life and how his village, surrounded by illegal Zionist colonies and outposts, was called “an illegal outpost” with the ultimatum of demolition, below:

I am Nasser Nawaj’ah. I am 30 years old. My mother gave birth to me in a cave in Susya El-Kadis. You know of Susya as a Jewish settlement in the South Hebron Hills, but Susya is first of all a Palestinian village that existed before the establishment of the State of Israel.

I was named after my grandfather, who was still alive at the time. In 1948, he was displaced from his village near Arad, now in southern Israel. When they were expelled, my father was just a little boy and my grandfather carried him in his arms until they reached their family in Susya El Kadis. They hoped one day to return to their village, but my grandfather died without ever seeing it again.

Nasser Nawaj’ah (L) and Salam Fayyad (Courtesy of B’Tselem)

A year after I was born, in 1983, the settlement of Susya was established. In 1986, after Israeli archaeologists found remnants of a synagogue in our village, we were expelled again. I was 4 years old. My father took me in his arms while bulldozers destroyed our homes and blocked the caves that we lived in. We scattered in our agricultural lands around the village. The grown-ups hoped that we would one day return to our caves, but a fence was built around the village and it was turned into an archaeological site. Today we still live on our agricultural land and I can see the place where I was born, but cannot go there. Israelis and foreigners from all over the world enter the site, but I cannot.

After 1990, the expulsion attempts started up again. Despite the fact that we have documents proving that the land belongs to us, the caves we lived in and our water wells were destroyed. But each time, we returned and built anew. At the same time, the Israeli settlement of Susya continued to flourish and grow. In 2001, after the murder of Yair Har Sinai, settlers arrived with the army and again destroyed the caves and the wells and uprooted our trees. It was only after 10 days and an interim decision by the Israeli High Court that we were able to return to our homes.

Today we live in tents – and even these were threatened with demolition orders forcing us to obtain permits for them. This is the life of a Palestinian in Area C of the West Bank. We are denied building permits, and are disinherited and banished from our land. Each time we request permits from the Israeli army, we are denied. The water pipes of Israel’s Mekorot water company pass several meters away from our village – they bring water to illegal outposts around us but we can’t get water from them. We don’t have access to the water that flows in those pipes, even though this is our water, water that Israel pumps from the West Bank.

We are forced to live off of rain water that we collect in our wells. The water situation in the South Hebron Hills is dire, and we are always forced to supplement by buying water brought in tankers to sustain ourselves through the summer. We pay NIS 35 for a cubic meter of water – about four times as much as you pay for water inside Israel.

Four months ago, the Regavim organization filed a petition to the High Court demanding that our village, Susya, be destroyed. They refer to it as an “illegal outpost” and claim that our village presents a security threat. Last week there was a hearing in the Israeli High Court. 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? In your court there is a difference between a Palestinian and a settler. You call it illegal construction but what we’re talking about is an underground cave that is hundreds of years old.

Illegal Israeli settlement outposts are all around us in the Susya area, and there are many buildings inside settlements with pending demolition orders – but they have everything. The government provides them with infrastructure for water and electricity despite the fact that according to Israeli law they are illegal, and nothing happens to them. And now you want to displace the old man from his home? To expel us from land that belongs to us, that we have lived on generation after generation, that is all that we know.

Resources:

My Susiya notes, 2007

2007 video on Susiya Palestinians

2005 video on Susiya Palestinians

Civil Administration threatens to demolish most of Susiya village

Settlers beat Jamal a-Nawaj’a and throw stones at his mother and wife, in Susiya, March 2006

Settlers assault Palestinian shepherds sleeping in tents in the southern Hebron hills, 26 March 2006

July 29, 2012 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | Comments Off on Palestinian voice from Susiya, a Palestinian village that existed before the establishment of the State of Israel