The Palestinian village of Susya, which has been through numerous demolitions and forced expulsions, beginning in 1986, is facing yet another threat to its existence. This time, the fate of the entire village lays in the hands of Israel’s Supreme Court.
By Rabbis for Human Rights
On Thursday, Israel’s Supreme Court will hold two sessions regarding two petitions affecting the future of the Palestinian village Susya. One will discuss the possibility of expediting the demolition of most of the village, while the other seeks to prevent the villagers’ remaining lands from being rendered off limits to them.
The first court session involves a petition by the far-right organization Regavim, which petitioned the Court together with the nearby Jewish settlement of Susya, to expedite the demolition of most of the buildings in Palestinian Susya. Regavim claims that the Nawaja family, residents of Palestinian Susya, violated an intermediate court order forbiding any new building in the village. The demolition will in all likelihood mean the complete disappearance of the village. The petitioners have also requested and received a temporary injunction that prohibits any further development in the village until a decision is issued. The petition was submitted against the Minister of Defense and the inhabitants of Palestinian Susya.
The second hearing covers a petition by the villagers, along with Rabbis for Human Rights, responding to the blockage of about 3,000 dunams of their farmland in the area. The petition names the Minister of Defense, the heads of the Civil Administration, the Chief of the Hebron Police, the Susya Cooperative Association, and the Har Hebron Local Council.
According to Susiya resident Nasser Nawajeh, the people of Susiya have already been through numerous demolitions and forced expulsions, beginning in 1986, when Israeli archeologists discovered the remains of a Jewish synagouge under Susiya and Israeli authorities then expelled its residents, on to 2001, when settlers, backed by the IDF, destroyed Susiya’s wells and caves in a form of collective punishment following the murder of a Jewish man, all the way up to this year.
The following videos, filmed by filmmaker Ibtisam Mara’ana, tells the story of 10-year-old Hadidja and her family, who live in Susya under constant threat of demolition:
Rabbis for Human Rights advocates for human rights and social justice in Israel based on a humanistic interpretation of Judaism.