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Has the IDF found a way to climb down the Susya tree?

Up against extraordinarily harsh diplomatic pressure from its closest allies, Israel seems to have found a way to save face without creating too much of a fuss — at least temporarily.

With more or less the entire Western world warning Israel not to demolish the Palestinian village of Susya and forcefully displace its residents, it is no surprise that the Israeli army might be seeking a way to climb down the tree it is stuck on.

So how does one announce that it might not demolish that village which it has been claiming for years has no right to exist? As a first step, you might look for an internal document you discarded years ago, one that argues the residents of Susya do actually own the land from which you want to expel them, and then leak it to the press.

That is exactly what it appears the army is doing. Somebody in the Israeli Defense Ministry leaked such a document to Haaretz over the weekend. The document reportedly says that Susya’s residents own the land they live on, a fact that would make forcefully transferring them elsewhere more difficult.

The U.S. State Department, most European Union foreign ministers, the United Nations and hundreds of activists have all joined a very public campaign to save the impoverished village in recent weeks. It is hard to remember such harsh language from Israel’s closest allies about such a specific policy in recent years.

Last month every single EU head of mission went to the village on a solidarity visit. Last week, a State Department spokesperson warned Israel that following through with its plans would be a “provocation” and that it would “set a damaging standard for displacement and land confiscation, particularly given settlement-related activity in the area.”

This past weekend, over 500 Palestinian, Israeli and international activists descended upon the South Hebron Hills hamlet to protest plans to demolish it.

Speaking at the rally, Palestinian MP Mustafa Barghoutti highlighted the effect that international pressure can have, as evidenced by the case of Susya.

“Combining popular resistance on the ground, international solidarity and boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israeli policies,” Barghoutti said,“is very productive and very effective at this stage.”

The Israeli army document that shows Susya’s residents own their land is not a reversal of policy, but whoever leaked it is trying to guide policy makers down the...

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The real reason Jewish-American spy Jonathan Pollard is back in the news

Pollard is scheduled to be released in November. The issue for Israel is whether the U.S. will allow the Jewish American to move to Israel, where Washington fears he would be given a hero’s welcome.

The 30-year saga of convicted spy Jonathan Pollard is once again gaining serious attention in the Israeli, American and international news media.

The reporting, most of which appears to be directed speculation, is focusing on whether Pollard will be released in late November or sooner, and whether a decision in Washington to release him early could be part of some sort of quid pro quo aimed at convincing Israel to drop its opposition to the Iran deal.

Nearly all of the news coverage has missed the real issue at play.

First things first. In all likelihood the former U.S. Naval Intelligence worker will be released by the end of November, and that has been public knowledge for decades. The Federal Bureau of Prisons’ public website lists his release date as November 21, 2015.

The public campaign to release Jonathan Pollard, spearheaded by his wife Esther and fueled by a handful of friendly Israeli journalists and a cadre of Jewish politicians, despises any mention of the November 2015 release date. They understand that the very concept of scheduled parole undermines their argument for early release, and so they deflect.

Notice how Esther Pollard and the entire Justice for Jonathan Pollard have been conspicuously absent from the recent flurry of media coverage, save, perhaps, for some behind-the-scenes pushing of the early release angle. The reasons for this are relatively simple.

In addition to seeing Pollard freed, many of his backers in Israel want nothing more than for Jonathan to receive a hero’s welcome when he walks onto the tarmac at Ben-Gurion Airport. Nearly every Jewish politician and public figure in Israel will want to take part; Pollard’s means easy public relations points.

The problem here is that parole in the United States generally involves restrictions on the parolee, including their freedom of movement – and particularly restrictions on travelling outside of the United States. In other words, the chances of Pollard being allowed to visit – or move to – Israel in the years following his parole are slim to none. If the United States releases Pollard but doesn’t allow him to emigrate, it would deflate the political significance of his release as far...

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Hundreds protest forced transfer, destruction of Palestinian village Susya

Despite a pending High Court case, the village is facing imminent destruction and forced population transfer. State Department, EU foreign ministers have all called on Israel to let the villagers stay on their land.

Over 500 Palestinian, Israeli and international activists descended on the tiny Palestinian tent-village of Susya on Friday to protest its imminent demolition and the forced transfer of its residents.

The activists marched through the village, stopping at various homes along their way to hear the stories of families facing eviction and transfer.

At the end of the demonstration activists hung a massive banner in view of passing settlers, declaring that Susya is here to stay.

Palestinian parliamentarian Mustafa Barghoutti, one of few politicians who attended the protest, praised the non-violent popular resistance model adopted by the residents of Susya and many other Palestinian villages. “Combining popular resistance on the ground, international solidarity and boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israeli policies,” Barghoutti said, “is very productive and very effective at this stage.”

Susya has been the recipient of seemingly unprecedented international diplomatic and media attention in recent weeks and months. European foreign ministers, the U.S. State Department, and activists around the world are all demanding that Israel refrain from destroying the village and to legalize its status.

The Israeli army first demolished the village of Khirbet Susya, deep in the desolate south Hebron Hills, three decades ago, on the grounds that it was located on an archeological site. Susya’s residents, many of whom lived in caves on the site for generations, packed up and moved a few hundred meters away, onto their adjacent agricultural lands.

The IDF, which as the occupying power controls nearly every aspect of Palestinians’ lives in the West Bank, never recognized the validity of the move. To this day, the village has no connections to electricity or running water, and its access roads are not paved.

On the other hand, when it comes to unauthorized Jewish settlements, all of which squat on Palestinian land, Israeli authorities supply electricity, water, security and more. The terms “double standard” or “discrimination” don’t even begin to describe the dual realities in that part the West Bank.

The Israeli army has issued repeated demolition orders against the village on the grounds that none of its tents and tin shacks were erected with the proper permits. The army’s Civil Administration, however, rejects 90 percent of Palestinian planning...

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Israeli website: 77 must-do activities before Iran kills us all

After the Iran deal, Israel’s days are surely numbered. So before the nuclear holocaust descends upon us, one Israeli website is suggesting you break out your bucket list and start checking things off. The result is funnier than you might think.

Like many other societies embroiled in protracted violent conflict, Israel is known for a tasteless — yet often-times hilarious — ability to find humor in even the most mortal dangers. ”The Iranian threat,” and the potential for assured destruction Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has assured us it brings, has proved to be an especially fruitful source of comedic relief.

Then, on Tuesday, the unthinkable happened. The P5+1 reached a deal with “the ayatollahs.” End times are upon us. Somebody had to up their game. What is an apocalypse without a listicle? That, it seems, is what at least one culture editor at Israeli news site Walla! was thinking on Wednesday. The website published an article titled: “77 things you need to do before Iran kills us all with an atomic bomb.”

The article continues (my translation):

We won’t bore you with all 77, so here is a top 7:

1. Get a European passport and use it to visit Tehran

2. See films about the Nakba at the [Tel Aviv] Cinemateque before [Culture Minister] Miri Regev censors everything

3. Break a court-imposed gag order

4. Approve new connection requests on LinkedIn

5. Find a normal apartment in Tel Aviv, just so you can feel like it’s possible

6. See Neil Young, Elvis Costello, Lauryn Hill and all of the artists who canceled their concerts in Israel [because of the boycott]

7. Finally let go of our Holocaust complex before we are annihilated again

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Archaic gag order lifted: Two Israeli civilians being held in Gaza

This is the third time in five years — that we can discuss — in which Israeli authorities have tried to use comprehensive gag orders to stop the publication of stories of public interest. This also is the third time that the Internet has made a mockery of such efforts to control information.

A 28-year-old Israeli man, Avraham ‘Avera’ Mengistu, crossed into the Gaza Strip in October 2014 and never returned. +972 and the Israeli media has been unable to tell you anything about Mengistu until today, when a nine-month comprehensive gag order was lifted on the entire affair as the result of an appeal filed by Haaretz. Mengistu’s fate is not known Israeli media has suggested that he is being held by Hamas. A second Israeli citizen, a young Bedouin man whose identity is still covered by the gag order, also crossed into Gaza and is unaccounted for.

A blanket gag order was imposed last year on publication of the story in all Israeli media outlets, which prohibited even the citing of foreign media reports. The story was circulated informally starting late last year. A number of Ethiopian-Israelis dared to start a campaign for his release in recent months by wearing shirts that read “Avera Mengistu?” at anti-racism protests. In early June, American blogger Richard Silverstein published the story in English. Silverstein has been used by Israeli journalists to leak stories under severe gag orders in the past.

The gag order prevented the family from launching any public campaign to pressure the government to secure his release. The Gilad Schalit family, in contrast, managed a massive public campaign operation for five years until the government ultimately negotiated their son’s release. The Mengistu family is alleging that racism has played a large role in the way the state handled the gag order. “I am one million percent certain that if he were white, we would not have come to a situation like this,” his brother Yalo told Haaretz.

A history of failed censorship

The Mengistu case is not the first time that the Israeli security establishment has attempted to bury the very existence of a story using one of the most archaic tools available to a government — a comprehensive gag order. In two cases in the past five years, the borderless Internet made a mockery of the concept of gag orders and attempts to control the free flow of...

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A year after Gaza: The only lesson we can draw from Protective Edge

Both Israel and Hamas are preparing for the next round of fighting. So how does one prevent the inevitable?

Hamas is preparing for the next round of fighting. That has been the messaging the Israeli security establishment has dispatched throughout the media in recent days, part of widespread coverage marking one year since the start of last summer’s war in Gaza.

“Since the end of Operation Protective Edge Hamas is rebuilding its terror infrastructure and its capabilities, which were severely damaged during the operation,” Deputy Gaza Division Commander Col. Nochi Mandel told Israel Radio on Tuesday. “The organization is building up its forces with [training] exercises, the manufacture of rockets and mortars, and tunneling,” he added.

“It’s not just the IDF that is preparing for the next round,” Walla! News posited in its version of the same story that appeared in nearly every Israeli news outlet on Tuesday. The nameless “senior officer in the Southern Command” added that in that next round of fighting, Hamas’s armed wing plans to have entire companies of combatants infiltrate into Israel.

Despite the tens of thousands of explosive munitions dropped and shot into Gaza, Hamas, it appears, has not decided to unilaterally declare peace.

The IDF, too, is preparing for the next round of fighting. It is procuring new munitions and guns, jets and drones, developing anti-missile and rocket technologies, and collecting intelligence against Hamas. That, after all, is what adversaries do.

In fact, as long as there is no peace, as long as the occupation and the siege and the oppression of Palestinians continues, Israel will find itself engaged in armed conflict with various Palestinian groups who view violence as the only path to liberation. The same goes for Israeli generals and politicians who believe the occupation and the siege and oppression and occasional violent escalations are the only way to keep Israel safe from said Palestinians.

It’s actually even simpler than that. As long as there is no peace and dignity and equality, there will be violence. And unfortunately, there will most likely still be some violence once peace and dignity and equality reign, regardless of the number of states or the routes of their borders.

The only absolute certainty is that as long as there is occupation, there will be conflict. And as long as there is conflict, there will be looming violence. And as long as...

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Why is Israel concocting ties between Hamas and ISIS?

By dreaming up an association between Hamas and Islamic State, Netanyahu hopes Israel will have it easy the next time it goes to war against Gaza.

The head of Israel’s military government in the territories, Maj.-Gen. Yoav “Polly” Mordechai, spearheaded the latest round of Israel’s fantastical, anti-intellectual conflation between Hamas and ISIS this past week. Taking advantage of the horrendous attacks by an ISIS affiliate in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, Mordechai told Al Jazeera Arabic that Hamas is aiding the world’s most terrifying terrorist organization—by bringing its wounded fighters into Gaza for medical treatment.

The attempt to make a connection between the two groups is nothing new. In fact, facts be damned, Israel—and the Netanyahu government in particular—has a rich history of conflating Hamas with whichever evildoers it deems most expedient at the time. Making the ISIS, connection, as Larry Derfner reported in great depth last year, has been Netanyahu’s primary strategy for de-legitimizing Hamas since last summer’s war in Gaza.

Maj.-Gen. Mordechai’s accusations are expedient for many reasons. Firstly, Hamas’s relationship with the Egyptian government has gone from bad to worse since the overthrow of former president Muhammad Morsi. In recent weeks, however, a détente of sorts has begun to take shape, most recently evidenced when Cairo reversed an earlier decision that had declared Hamas a terrorist organization. It is no secret that the current Israeli government believes it is in its interest to ensure that Egypt remains adversarial toward Hamas, and what better way to advance that goal than to tie the latter to ISIS.

Secondly, Netanyahu hopes that the more he can concoct an association between Hamas and ISIS, against which there is an international consensus that any force is justified, then Israel will have an easier time the next time it goes to war against Gaza. Never mind the absurdity of actually comparing the ideology, goals, tactics and identity of the two groups. The only thing more absurd would be to compare ISIS to Iran. In addition to the fact that ISIS is a fanatical Sunni group and the Iranian regime is Shia, Ishaan Tharoor wrote in The Washington Post earlier this year, “Iran’s theocratic rulers are hardly champions of religious pluralism and tolerance, but they are not crazed fundamentalist jihadists, bent on smashing idols and butchering religious minorities.”

But Mordechai’s “proof” that Hamas is supporting ISIS follows in a long line...

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Netanyahu and Obama find a shared interest — screwing the Israeli people

Despite the years of endless clashes of both personality and policy, this dramatic political saga really won’t surprise you one bit.

The rather lousy relationship between Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and U.S. President Obama has been the subject of much discussion in recent weeks as former Ambassador Michael Oren brought already ridiculous levels of behind-the-scenes speculation to new lows. Years of public clashes over settlement construction, peace talks, negotiations with Iran, and more, have provided endless fodder fueling public clashes between the two leaders.

There is one area, however, where President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu have suddenly, and perhaps surprisingly to outsiders, found their interests aligned.

American Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro attempted to use his influence to determine the outcome of a fateful vote in the Israeli Knesset this week. It is a rather bizarre political story with surprising actors being asked to play even more surprising roles. It is a story of foreign intervention into questions of domestic Israeli policy in ways that upend the narrative regularly spun by right-wing Israelis. It is a story that shouldn’t surprise anybody, and yet surprised nearly everybody.

The story starts with two of the most common ingredients found in nearly all Middle Eastern dramas: fossil fuels and American economic interests. You see, about six years ago a surprising discovery was made off of Israel’s coast— the largest natural gas reserves in the Mediterranean. Almost immediately, people started talking about the discovery as a game-changer, both geopolitically in the region, but also for Israel’s economy. The gas was supposed to be enough to domestic supply in Israel for decades.

Unfortunately for most Israelis, the contracts to search for said fossil fuels were negotiated decades earlier, at a time when nobody took seriously the prospects of actually finding any gas. Thus, as economic incentive dictates, the increased economic risk for the energy companies was contractually offset by massive profit margins in the unlikely situation that gas was discovered. So what did Israel do when gas was discovered? It unilaterally “renegotiated” the contracts to give itself a significantly greater portion of future profits. The energy companies were not happy but they ultimately agreed to the new terms.

In the five years that have passed, all but a few thousand Israelis forgot about the game-changing importance of the gas discovery. People assumed that they, the citizens, were getting ripped off in the whole...

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Lessons from the UN Gaza report: Next stop, ICC?

The Human Rights Council’s independent inquiry is full of suspicions of war crimes. More important is what it has to say about how Israel investigates those allegations, and what that means for the International Criminal Court.

To the relief of Israel and the chagrin of many others, the UN report into last summer’s war in Gaza is not an indictment of Israel. It does not declare conclusively that Israel committed war crimes and it is certainly not one-sided. The Human Rights Council report released on Monday is valuable, nevertheless, when read as a preview of what might transpire in a much more consequential body investigating the 2014 war — the International Criminal Court.

The independent commission of inquiry does not have any real authority. Although its researchers and on-the-ground support staff from the OHCHR are highly respected and among the more credible international organizations doing such research in Gaza, its work still goes to one of the most politicized and almost satirically anti-Israel bodies in the international system — the UN Human Rights Council.

Furthermore, the lack of access Israel and Hamas provided to the commission of inquiry greatly reduces its ability to make any definitive conclusions. The report is peppered with language like: “may amount to war crimes”; “strong indications that … amount to a war crime”; and, “if confirmed … would constitute a war crime.” The only instance about which war crimes are spoken of declaratively is the case of the extra-judicial executions of Palestinian collaborators in Gaza.

But even if the commission of inquiry had been given full access, and if it were able to gather enough evidence to say definitively that war crimes were committed, it still cannot do anything about it. That’s where the ICC comes in.

Ironically or not, the question of whether war crimes were actually committed is not the most significant factor that will determine whether the ICC launches any criminal investigations or hands down indictments on Gaza. Certainly, without suspected war crimes there would be no investigations or indictments. But in order for the ICC to have jurisdiction over suspected crimes in the first place, certain conditions must be met — first and foremost, a concept called complementarity.

Complementarity means that if Israel investigates its own soldiers for suspected violations of international law, and if it does so in good faith, then the ICC has no jurisdiction. But once...

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Israel seeks force feeding powers as hunger striker enters danger zone

The head of the Israeli Medical Association says he will instruct physicians to ignore the new law if it is passed, saying it contradicts medical ethics. Israeli authorities are currently holding some 400 Palestinians without charge or trial.

The Israeli parliament is expected to soon vote on a bill that would permit authorities to force feed Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike; the cabinet gave the measure its seal of approval on Sunday. Although no direct correlation has been shown, the move comes as Israel/Palestine’s most famous repeat hunger striker, Khader Adnan, has gone more than 40 days without food or nutrients.

Adnan is protesting being held under administrative detention, which means he has no access to due process, has not formally been accused of any crime, and has no way of defending himself. He is currently being held in a hospital in central Israel where he is reportedly shackled to his bed and is refusing to be treated by hospital medical staff. Adnan has said he will only agree to be treated by a doctor from Physicians for Human Rights Israel (PHR), who is expected to see him on Wednesday.

From the fifth week of a hunger strike and on, according to the World Health Organization’s guide to prison health, a patient can lose motor coordination, have difficulty swallowing, and death can occur abruptly.

Adnan won his release from administrative detention in 2012 after a 66-day hunger strike that sparked protests across Israel and the West Bank and caught the world’s attention. He was detained once again during Israel’s massive arrest raids in the West Bank last summer, and has been held in administrative detention for the past 11 months. The Israeli army accuses him of being a spokesperson for Palestinian Islamic Jihad, but it has not charged him with any crime.

The head of the Israeli Medical Association, Dr. Leonid Eidelman, has long opposed attempts to force feed prisoners. As similar legislative measures came and went over the years, he has consistently argued that they contradict medical ethics and declared he would advise doctors to ignore any order to administer force feeding.

The World Medical Association has unequivocally stated that physicians should respect a patient’s refusal to accept food and/or water. “Forced feeding contrary to an informed and voluntary refusal is unjustifiable,” the WMA Declaration of Malta on Hunger Strikers reads.

The WMA declaration goes on to...

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Diaspora Jews bring solidarity to south Hebron Hills

Over 70 Jews from around the world headed to Susya last weekend, where they stood with the residents of the West Bank village under threat of demolition against displacement and settler violence. 

It was part anti-occupation activism, part Jewish summer camp, part WWOOF and a little reminiscent of young foreigners coming to volunteer on a kibbutz. Over 70 Jews in their 20s and 30s, mostly from English-speaking countries, spent last Friday and Saturday in the impoverished Palestinian village of Khirbet Susya, whose residents are living under a looming threat of a second forced displacement from their homes. The first time was 30 years ago.

It was my second time in the village that week. A few days earlier, I went to cover a solidarity visit by Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah and the heads of mission of every single European Union member state. The tent erected by local Palestinian authorities to host their prime minister was still standing when I arrived in Susya on Saturday. This time instead of an assortment of body guards, PA systems and television crews, the large tent was full of sleeping bags and handful of activists painting banners.

The youngsters came as part of a delegation from a group called All That’s Left. Two and a half years ago, I was among the 15 or so core founders of the group, whose self-defined common denominator was to be “unequivocally opposed to the occupation and committed to building the diaspora angle of resistance.” And although I soon dropped out, I have watched them closely since, curious and often proud of their creative, inspiring activism and seemingly bottomless reserves of energy and optimism.

The trip to Susya had been in the works for months. The plan was to bring as many Jews — and others — somehow connected to overseas communities to the south Hebron Hills, where Palestinians live in a spattering of villages often composed of a few dozen tents without any connection to electricity or running water. Almost all of them are under constant threat of demolition by the Israeli army, and almost all of them are located within a few hundred meters of Israeli settlements that are illegal under international law but protected and provided for by Israel.

All That’s Left was asked to come, invited by local residents who know the value of solidarity. Susya has become one...

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No indictment in killing of four Palestinian kids on Gaza beach

Israeli army prosecutor decides not to open a criminal probe into a widely reported-on air strike against four children playing on a Gaza City beach during last year’s war. The MAG says it will, however, investigate the shelling of a medical clinic ‘in honor’ a fallen soldier.

The Israeli military will not seek any indictments over the killing of four Palestinian children on the beach in Gaza last summer, the Military Advocate General announced on Thursday. The four children were killed in a July 16 airstrike that targeted them while they played on a Gaza beach adjacent to where a sizable foreign press contingent was staying.

In its announcement, the MAG claimed that the children had run into — and subsequently out of — what it described as a Hamas naval compound, “closed off by a fence and clearly separated from the beach serving the civilian population.” At least two foreign journalists who were in Gaza at the time disputed that claim on Friday, asserting that the site was easily accessible to the public and only meters from a stretch of sand popular with swimmers and sunbathers.

One of those journalists, Peter Beaumont of The Guardian, told +972 on Friday that he later mentioned to MAG officials that he had witnessed the event and told them he would be willing to provide a statement — but that nobody ever contacted him to follow up. Other veteran journalists published first-person accounts of the incident at the time.

The MAG stated that its preliminary investigation was “thorough and extensive,” but it appears to have interviewed only people within the military in its probe. The MAG report notes that three Palestinian witnesses declined to meet with IDF officials, instead providing them with affidavits. It makes no mention of attempts to interview other witnesses, including any of the journalists who witnessed the air strike and reported on it at the time.

Explaining why it is not pursuing a criminal investigation, the MAG asserts that the failure to identify the children as, well, unarmed children, before firing missiles at them did not violate Israeli or international law. The MAG essentially chalked off the killing as a “tragic incident” to be used as a learning moment.

Israel hopes that by investigating its own conduct during Operation Protective Edge it will trigger a concept called complementarity with regards to the International Criminal Court. According to the Rome...

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Diplomats, activists rally to save Palestinian village from 'forced transfer'

Officials from the EU and the UN joined the Palestinian prime minister in the West Bank village of Susya, where 340 Palestinians are at risk of being pushed out of their homes.

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah and the head of every European Union member-state mission to Palestine visited on Sunday the south Hebron Hills village of Susya, which is facing an imminent threat of destruction.

The diplomatic show followed an Israeli High Court decision not to issue an injunction against the demolition of the village and the transfer of its residents. An appeal on Susya residents’ right to remain on their land is pending in the Israeli High Court.

Noting that Palestinian and international efforts and public campaigns have prevented planned displacements of Palestinians in the past, UN Humanitarian Coordinator Daniela Owen said that Israeli plans to destroy the village could amount to forced transfer. Such a move “would be contrary to Israel’s obligations under the Fourth Geneva Convention, International Humanitarian Law and human rights law obligations.”

Head of EU Mission to Palestine John Gatt-Rutter noted that it is difficult not to draw parallels between Israel’s plans to destroy Susya and other plans displace Palestinian Bedouin elsewhere, including in Israel.

The European Union opposes the demolition of Susya, he said, and advocates increased planning rights for Palestinians in Area C, which comprises some 62 percent of the West Bank.

“The fact that every head of mission of every one of our member states was here shows that the EU has a common position on this particular issue,” Gatt-Rutter said.

The 340 residents of Susya have for years been fighting in court for the right to stay on their land. Susya is located in the south Hebron Hills, in Area C of the West Bank, which according to the Oslo Accords is under full Israeli control. Its residents were first expelled from their lands in 1986 after the Jewish settlement of Susya was established and an archaeological site built on its former location. The Palestinian villagers then moved the village to their adjacent agricultural lands and have been fighting to subsist there ever since.

The Israeli army has issued repeated demolition orders in the village on the basis of illegal construction and zoning. The only reason Palestinians in the south Hebron Hills build illegally, however, is because Israeli authorities have never granted them building permits or any planning...

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+972 is an independent, blog-based web magazine. It was launched in August 2010, resulting from a merger of a number of popular English-language blogs dealing with life and politics in Israel and Palestine.

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