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From the field

Expulsion of Residents of South Mt. Hebron

B'Tselem Publishes Case Study: "Expulsion of Palestinian Residents from the Area of South Mt. Hebron, October-November 1999"

For more than three months, some 700 Palestinians, among them hundreds of children, have been forbidden to live in their homes in the area of south Mt. Hebron. In October and November 1999, Israel expelled them from their homes in Mufqara, Tuba, Jineba, and other villages, where they had lived in caves and shacks for dozens of years and made a living by farming and grazing their animals.

B'Tselem's report shows that the objective of the expulsion is unrelated to the various justifications provided by Israeli officials. The true objective is to create facts on the ground prior to the final-status agreement, and thereby achieve territorial continuity between Biqat Arad and the Israeli settlements of Carmel, Ma'on, and Susia. Thus, the expulsion is an integral part of Israel's illegal seizure, in total disregard for Palestinians' rights, of lands in the territories Israel occupied in 1967.

B'Tselem urges the Israeli government to allow the expelled residents to return immediately, and to return to them their possessions that were confiscated.