The village of Khirbet Susiya in the South Hebron Hills is under threat of demolition.
Khirbet Susiya is a Palestinian village in Area C of the southern West Bank and is home to 340 people. The village has been in the area since at least the 1830s. Between now and August 3rd, 37 structures in the village are due to be destroyed which would, in effect, demolish the existence of the village. Demolishing Susiya does nothing to enhance security for Israelis, and tramples on the rights of local Palestinians. The US State Department and 28 EU foreign ministers have already condemned the demolition plan.
In 1983 the settlement of Susiya was established and shortly afterwards, in 1986, the Palestinian residents of Susiya were removed from the site of their original village to make way for a public archaeological site on which there is an ancient synagogue. The archaeological site is a few hundred meters from the settlement of Susiya. There are now a number of Israeli settlers living on this site despite the fact that according to Israeli law they should not be there. Since the villagers were removed in 1986 they have lived in makeshift structures on their own farmland. These structures have been destroyed on a number of occasions because they have been built without the permission of the IDF. In fact 94% of all applications for building residential buildings in Area C of the West Bank, which is home to 200,000 Palestinians are rejected by the Civil Administration- a branch of the IDF. For more background on Susiya and Area C please click here.
An appeal hearing has been scheduled for August 3rd, but the army has announced the intention to carry out the demolition orders before the hearing takes place.
Yachad has been taking groups of British Jews to Susiya since our launch in 2011. Join us in speaking out against the demolition today.
For more detailed information about Susiya, click here.
For a copy of the rabbis letter to Ambassador Taub, click here.
If you are in Israel this summer and interested in seeing Susiya for yourself, you can join Yachad on a day trip to Susiya on August 4th, the day after the appeal hearing. Click here to register.