Residents and their international supporters are raising the alarm over plans for the “forced transfer of population and demolition of Palestinian housing” in the West Bank village of Khirbet Susiya—destruction which they warn could start at any moment.
Susiya, home to about 340 people, is in the 60 percent of the West Bank designated as ‘Area C’ under the 1993 Oslo accords, meaning that it is under full Israeli administrative and military control. Sources say about half of the village’s structures—including residential homes, a medical clinic, animal shelters, and more—are slated for imminent demolition.
“If Israel talks about coexistence and peace, it’s time to show it.”
—Salah Nawajeh, Susiya resident
The impact could be so egregious, in fact, that it has drawn criticism not only from international solidarity campaigners but also from less likely quarters, including the U.S. State Department and some senior EU officials and diplomats.
The Guardian reports: “Fears for the village escalated this month when Maj Gen Yoav Mordechai, the senior Israeli military official in the occupied territories, visited the village to warn residents that demolition orders would be carried out between the end of Ramadan and 3 August.”
Ramadan ended on Friday, July 17.
The Guardian continues:
“Destruction of the village would create a severe humanitarian crisis,” said Rabbis for Human Rights, which charges that if demolition occurs, 340 Susiya residents—including 140 children—”would be thrown out without any social or public network to absorb them.”
There would be other consequences, too. On Monday, EU foreign ministers issued a statement urging Israel to halt demolition plans because such action would “seriously threaten the two-state solution.”
The Telegraph reports on Tuesday: