Susiya is a village of around 320 people, scattered on a couple hillsides in the South Hebron Hills.
Half of the people living there are children. They love the simple things: helping with the sheep, playing with puppies.
And they love school. They recently celebrated the completion of a roof for their primary school, and applied some decorative paint, just in time, sadly, to see the demolition order Israelis have given them against it.
The children are aware of the order against the school, but perhaps they are not aware that the entire village is now in danger of demolition: homes, livestock enclosures, cisterns, toilets, clinic, even the cave, where the women of Susiya’s Embroidery Cooperative maintain a hopeful little shop with a few handmade dresses, coin purses, and woven mats.
keep reading at http://christiarts.wordpress.com/2012/03/22/susiya-in-danger/
From: EAPPI Advocacy Officer <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, Mar 21, 2012 at 5:21 AM
Subject: URGENT ACTION APPEAL: Imminent Threat of Mass Demolitions in the Palestinian Village of Susiya
To: EAPPI Advocacy Officer <email@example.com>
SUMMARY OF EVENTS:
Generations of Palestinians have lived the village of Susiya in the South Hebron Hills. Yet, this village, sandwiched between Israeli settlements, has been consistently denied building permits, basic infrastructure and has always faced a constant threat of demolition, as it is unrecognized by the Israeli Civil Administration (ICA).
On 3 August 2010, a group of Susiya’s residents, along with Rabbis for Human Rights, petitioned the Israeli High Court of Justice (HCJ) against the actions of Israeli soldiers and settlers in the West Bank. They asserted that soldiers and settlers consistently denied access of Susiya’s residents to their land and that soldiers failed to adequately protect Susiya’s residents from settler violence. The said petition, HCJ Case 5825/10, is currently pending before the HCJ.
Recently, a right-wing organization named Regavim, submitted a counter-petition to the HCJ, requesting that all “illegal outposts” in the Palestinian village of Susiya be destroyed by the ICA immediately. This petition, HCJ Case 1556/12, comes on the backdrop of various demolition orders that were unfairly issued against structures in Susiya over the years, but were never executed. Needless to say, this petition denies the many protections afforded to Susiya residents under international law.
As a result of Regavim’s petition, there exists a real and immediate danger that 30 homes and 42 other structures, including Susiya’s school, health center and cultural center will be demolished momentarily.If Regavim’s petition is successful, it would displace all 320 residents of Susiya, 150 of whom are children, and set a precedent for other Palestinian villages in the South Hebron Hills & Area C, which is 62% of the West Bank.
Regavim is an Israeli NGO that presents itself as “a social movement that aims to prevent illegal takeover of national lands by certain bodies”. However, its own publicized record reveals that it recognizes the oPt, Golan Heights, and parts of Jordan as part of Israel, and its main objectives are to: 1. Lobby the Government of Israel to destroy Palestinian structures, whether in the West Bank or in Israel; 2. Identify and suggest to the government new opportunities for such demolitions, and 3. Stop demolitions and evictions of unauthorized Israeli-settler structures in the West Bank.
INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN LAW:
Article 23 of The Hague Convention of 1907 clearly states that, “it is especially forbidden (for the occupier) to destroy or seize the enemy’s property, unless such destruction or seizure be imperatively demanded by the necessities of war.”
Article 53 of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 states, “Any destruction by the Occupying Power of real or personal property belonging individually or collectively to private persons, or to the State, or to other public authorities, or to social or cooperative organizations, is prohibited, except where such destruction is rendered absolutely necessary by military operations.”
MAKE A DIFFERENCE:
We encourage you to:
· Forward this email to your networks
· Inform your representative in parliament about what is happening in Susiya
· Contact (Preferably fax) the following officials and call on them to allow Palestinians in Area C to have their right to adequate housing and infrastructure without the threat of demolitions:
o Your Ambassador and/or Consul General in Israel
o The Israeli Ambassador in your country
o Israeli Minister of Defense:
§ Ehud Barak
§ Ministry of Defence
o Israeli Military Judge Advocate General:
§ Major General Avihai Mandelblit
§ Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
o Israeli Military Chief of Staff
§ Lieutenant-General Benny Gantz
§ Fax: +972.3.691.6940 / +972.697.6218
You may either use the sample letter below or draft your own:
Dear Ambassador / Consul General / Minister / Judge Advocate General / Lieutenant-General,
I urgently call upon you to rescind all demolition orders that were issued by the Israeli Civil Administration to the village of Susiya, in the South Hebron Hills, which consists of 72 structures in total. For many years, the 320 inhabitants of this village, half of whom are children have faced severe repression by Israeli soldiers and settlers, and repeated destruction of homes and infrastructure.
I call upon you to support the pending petition, HCJ Case 5825/10 submitted by Rabbis for Human Rights on behalf of the people of Sisiya, and to dismiss Regavim’s counter-petition, HCJ Case 1556/12, which calls for the destruction of this village. Regavim’s petition is a violation of Article 23 of The Hague Convention of 1907 and Article 53 of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, and denies the many protections afforded to the people of Susiya under international law.
The residents of Susiya have the right to live peacefully in their homes!
by Operation Dove
At-Tuwani – On March 19th and 20th two Palestinian young men were arrested by the Israeli police and the army respectively while grazing on the hills surrounding the village of At Tuwani.
On March 19th at around 5:00 pm a twenty-three year old Palestinian shepherd was temporarily detained by the Army accompanied by the chief security of Ma’on settlement and by a settler coming from the illegal outpost of Havat Ma’on. The young man was pasturing in Shabel Shamsti Valley, not far from the Palestinian village of Tuba. Then the police arrived and arrested the shepherd at 6:30 pm after holding him in the cold for over one hour.
He was released at around midnight the same day after the payment of a bail of 500 shekel.
On March 20th at 11:15 am a twenty year old Palestinian shepherd was dismissed from the site where he was grazing at first, and later arrested by the Israeli Army, again in presence of Ma’on’ security chief. Attending to Palestinian testimonies, the soldiers threatened him of physical violence before taking him on the armoured vehicle.
At around 4:00 pm the Palestinian was released after having been transferred to Kyriat Arba police station.
The Palestinian was grazing on a hill on top of which the Ma’on settlement is bringing on its expansion since 2009. Furthermore, since September 2011 five new buildings are under construction on top of the hill, limiting further on the access to the Palestinians of the area.
Any charge was declared in any of the episodes, neither to the International observers present during the incidents, nor to the lawyers following the cases.
The fact that the Army operates in collaboration with the Israeli settlers is a custom in the South Hebron Hills. In ten cases since the beginning of the year the International volunteers have registered the coordination between the soldiers and the Ma’on’ security Safety Officer, a private Israeli security guard, in military operations aimed to send away or arrest the Palestinian shepherds.
The number of Palestinian shepherds arrested in the last month has now risen to seven.
Nevertheless, the Palestinian communities in the South Hebron Hills are strongly involved in affirming their rights and resist to the Israeli occupation choosing the nonviolent way.
Pictures of the incident: http://goo.gl/ldRvC
by Arwa Aburawa
Elad Orian is clearly a man on mission. It’s just gone 8pm and he is busy telling me about his work with Comet-ME, which provides renewable energy to Palestinian villagers living in the south Hebron Hills. His mission, however, is to save 6 of these projects from demolition. “The Palestinians were hoping it wouldn’t come to this as the solar panels had been there for a while,” tells me Orian over the phone. “But in the same way, this isn’t exactly a big surprise. In Area C there are around 10,000 outstanding demolition orders…”
No Permits for Palestinians in Area C
The argument goes that that these solar projects were installed without permits in Area C of the West Bank which is under Israeli control. As such the Israeli authorities have every right to demolish these solar panels and wind turbines, even if they are the sole source of electricity for some villagers. So why didn’t Comet-ME and the German aid group Medico which helped fund these projects apply for permits?
“The reason that we didn’t apply for permits is that we know we wouldn’t have got them,” replies Orian. “We would be applying for places in Area C and Israel never grants permits there for Palestinians…” In fact, according to figures from the pressure group Peace Now, in total, just 91 permits were granted for Palestinian construction in Area C between 2001 and 2007. In the same period, more than 10,000 Israeli settlement units were built. And more than 1,500 Palestinian structures were demolished.