WHILE THE SURROUNDING settlements and outposts were connected to the Israeli power grid and received military protection, the Palestinian residents relied on donated solar panels and water to help keep their community together.
To make matters worse, over 40 members of this community could soon lose their homes. On February 1, the Israeli Supreme Court decided to allow the immediate demolition of a portion of seven structures in the village.
Due to the immense pressure exerted on the Israeli government by the pro-annexation movement, these Palestinians are denied the stability and security afforded to the Jewish residents of the nearby hilltop settlements. The presence of these Israeli enclaves in the West Bank, which often begin as just a few small structures, is illegal under international law, and in some cases under Israeli law, as well.
The Palestinian village of Susya lies in the South Hebron Hills, in Area C in the West Bank. A village of only 350 residents, Susya has been repeatedly under threat of demolition for the past 30 years and has been demolished and rebuilt numerous times.
The situation there is more than an injustice against Palestinians — it also shows the threat that the settlement movement poses to Israel’s future.
Proponents of settlement expansion have a strong vested interest in advocating for Susya’s demolition. If the civil administration continually denies permits to Palestinian villagers in Area C and periodically demolishes their homes, then settlements — like the Israeli settlement of Susya next to the Palestinian village of the same name — can expand and control more territory in the West Bank.
This is a phenomenon known as creeping annexation. It’s the Israeli right’s strategy to permanently entrench the Israeli presence in the West Bank, making a two-state solution impossible. In addition to the havoc it wreaks in the lives of Palestinians, creeping annexation threatens Israel’s long-term security.
FULL STORY The destruction of Susya would spell disaster for Israel (Forward)
Photo: A Palestinian woman standing in front of a makeshift tent in Susya in 2015 (AFP)