A postponement has been declared for the hearing by Israel’s Supreme Court of the appeal by the Palestinian residents of Susiya which had been scheduled for Monday, August 3. The appeal involves the rejection by the Planning Committee of Israel’s occupation Civil Administration of the master building plan submitted by the residents of the village. Following this rejection, Israel has begun organizing the forced evacuation and demolition of the entire village.
In a statement released by Israeli peace activists, the reason cited for the postponement is that the state is currently “exploring whether there is a basis for discussing legalizing the status of the village.” The statement continues: “In the meantime, thanks to the determined struggle of the residents of Susiya, and the public pressure that we have collectively helped create, we believe that there will be no demolitions during the next two weeks. We will wait to hear of developments, and when the time approaches for a decision regarding the village’s future, we will once again renew the public struggle.”
Over 500 Palestinian, Israeli and international activists descended on the Palestinian village of Susiya on Friday, July 24, to protest its imminent demolition and the forced transfer of its residents. Among the demonstrators: members of Combatants for Peace, Rabbis for Human Rights, and Hadash-Communist Party of Israel. 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 huge banner in Hebrew, Arabic and English in view of passing settlers, declaring that “Palestinian Susiya is here to stay!” The Israeli army first demolished the village of Khirbet Susiya, deep in the desolate South Hebron Hills, three decades ago, on the grounds that it was located on an archeological site. Susiya’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.
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