At around 10:00 o’clock this morning (Thursday, 16 May 2019), Israeli Civil Administration personnel came with a military and Border Police escort to the Palestinian community of Khirbet Susiya in the South Hebron Hills. They brought a bulldozer with them. For the fourth time, they dismantled and confiscated a tent that served as a sheep pen. The seasonal home of the family that owns the pen has been demolished four times over the last month.
On Tuesday, 16 April 2019, at about 10:00 A.M., Civil Administration officials accompanied by soldiers and Border Police officers, and equipped with a bulldozer, arrived at Khirbet Susiya in the South Hebron Hills. The forces dismantled and confiscated a tent erected around two weeks earlier that served as a seasonal home for a family of three. In the afternoon of the same day, the family erected a new tent and an additional tent serving as a pen for their flock.
Yesterday, Wednesday, 17 April 2019, at about 11:00 A.M., Civil Service officials returned to the site, again accompanied by soldiers and Border Police officers. They saw the two new tents, but left without demolishing them. Today, Thursday, 18 April 2019, at about 9:30 A.M., the forces returned with equipment, including two trucks and bulldozer. The forces confiscated both the new tents.
On 17 October 2018, at around 4:00 A.M., Civil Administration personnel escorted by soldiers and Border Police officers arrived at the village of Khallet al-Maiya, east of the town of Yatta, Hebron District, with a bulldozer. The forces demolished a newly built home that was still vacant.The forces then proceeded south toward Khirbet Susiya, in the South Hebron Hills, where they destroyed a livestock pen, and from there to Khirbet Ghuwein al-Fauqa, south of the town of a-Samu’, where they destroyed another pen.
On Wednesday, 4 July 2018, at around 1:00 P.M., Israeli Civil Administration personnel arrived with a bulldozer and a two-jeep military escort at the Palestinian community of Khallet al-Khader in the northern Jordan Valley. They demolished a drinking-water tank with a 200-cubic meter capacity that had been donated to the community in October 2016.
The next morning (Thursday, 5 July 2018), at around 9:00 A.M., Civil Administration personnel arrived with a military and Border Police escort at the Palestinian village of Khirbet Susiya, in the South Hebron Hills, bringing with them a bulldozer, a truck and a crane. They demolished and confiscated a dwelling that had been built about two weeks earlier, thereby leaving five people – three of them minors – without a home. The troops then went on to khirbet al- Mufaqarah, about 5 km to the east, and demolished the foundations of a cowshed parts of which they had already demolished about two weeks ago.
That same day, at around 8:30 A.M., employees of Mekorot: Israel National Water Company arrived at the Palestinian village of Bardalah in the northern Jordan Valley with a truck and a military escort. They dismantled and carried off 150 meters of irrigation pipelines which residents had hooked up to Mekorot infrastructure.
This morning, 4 July 2018, Israel continued implementing its policy of transferring Palestinian communities: In Khan al-Ahmar the Civil Administration began paving an access road leading to the community to facilitate its transfer. According to reports by the Red Cross, 35 people were injured in clashes that ensued. Four were taken to hospital and the rest were treated on site. In the nearby community of Abu a-Nuwar, the CA demolished nine homes and three farm buildings, leaving 62 people homeless. The CA came to Susiya, apparently to plan the demolition of seven structures there. Israel claims it is merely enforcing the law, on building without permits. But the residents are not criminals: Israel denies them any way of obtaining construction permits and creates unbearable living conditions, hoping they leave - ostensibly of their own volition - so that it can take over their lands. Transferring communities in a war crime; no court ruling or military order can whitewash it.
As of Jan. 2016 Israeli authorities stepped up efforts to expel Palestinian communities in the South Hebron Hills, Ma’ale Adumim area and the Jordan Valley, demolishing 73 homes and 51 other structures, some donated by aid agencies. Israel recently announced plans to demolish many more structures in Kh. Susiya, expel Abu a-Nuwar’s residents, and reported its failed mediation with Masafer Yatta. All are part of a policy whereby Area C is to serve Israel rather than West Bank Palestinians. Restrictions Israel imposes in Area C force all West Bank Palestinians to live in crowded enclaves without land reserves for building, farming, infrastructure, health and education services or freedom of movement.
On Thursday morning, 4 February 2016, Civil Administration (CA) officials came to the Palestinian shepherding community of al-Mkassar in the northern Jordan Valley with bulldozers and a military escort. They proceeded to demolish four tents that were home to two families – a total of 19 people, including 12 minors. They also demolished eight livestock pens. These families had already lost their homes in a previous demolition in June 2015. Later that the day, around noon, CA and military forces came to the Palestinian community of Khirbet Susiya in the South Hebron Hills, where they dismantled and confiscated two tents that were home to a family of eight, including six minors. The tents were donated to the family after their two previous tents were demolished about two weeks ago, on 20 January 2016.
Since the beginning of 2016 Israel has demolished eight Palestinian homes in the area defined as E1 and two homes in the South Hebron Hills, including one in Khirbet Susiya, where residents have struggled for years against expulsion and settler takeover. These demolitions serve Israel’s policy to create immutable facts on the ground ahead of any future agreement. This longstanding policy, which creates an impossible daily reality for Palestinians in Area C, constitutes forced transfer of protected residents within the occupied territory.
In a letter sent this morning to the Civil Administration, representatives of the village of Susiya demanded that the authorities freeze all the demolitions planned over the coming days in the village. The letter was sent after it emerged that the scale of destruction the state seeks to sow in Susiya is much greater than was previously thought, and includes almost half the structures in the village. If the structures are demolished, the residents will have no way to survive in the area in conditions of extreme heat and cold. Accordingly, the action effectively constitutes the expulsion of the residents from their land.
Israel’s regime of occupation is inextricably bound up in human rights violations. B’Tselem strives to end the occupation, as that is the only way forward to a future in which human rights, democracy, liberty and equality are ensured to all people, both Palestinian and Israeli, living between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.