Hundreds of Palestinians and pro-Palestine activists have staged a demonstration in the occupied West Bank against Israel’s decision to demolish homes in the village of Susya.
Around 600 Palestinians and international supporters marched into the Palestinian village of Susya in the West Bank on Friday to protest against the planned demolition of the village by the Israeli regime.
The demonstration, organized by Combatants for Peace rights group, sought to attract international attention to the violation of villagers’ rights by Israel.
Back in 1985, Israel expelled Susya’s residents — around 350 people — from their village based on archeological claims, and blocked the villagers’ attempts to rebuild Susya four times – in 1991, 1997, and twice in 2001 — with further demolition operations in 2011, 2012, and 2013.
In May 2015, the Supreme Court of Israel approved the full demolition of Susya, implementation of which would leave the new 450 residents homeless.
Earlier in July, US State Department spokesperson John Kirby called on Israel “to refrain from carrying out any demolitions in the village.”
On July 21, the European Union also slammed Israel’s plan for the “forced transfer” of Palestinians living in Susya and the subsequent demolition of the village.
On July 22, 2015, the court gave the green light to military forces to demolish Susya, and relocate its 450 Palestinian residents to the nearby city of Yatta in al-Khalil. Israel plans to send in army bulldozers to the village on Monday .
Susya is surrounded by four Israeli settlements as well as several outposts, all deemed illegal under international law.
More than half a million Israelis live in over 120 illegal settlements built since Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East al-Quds in 1967.
Much of the international community regards the Israeli settlements as illegal because the territories were occupied by Israel in 1967, and they are hence subject to the Geneva Conventions, which forbid construction on occupied lands.