MK Dov Khenin: ‘The Path of dispossession and deportation prevents Palestinians and Israelis from having a future’Approximately two hundred Israeli and international activists joined today (Friday, June 6th, 2015) midday with the villagers of Susya, in a solidarity march against the planned demolition of the village and deportation of its residents.
The event today was organized by the Combatants for Peace movement and the local village youth committee, in commemoration of the Naksa Day, marking the 1967 war and the beginning of the occupation in the West Bank.
Upon arrival of the activists at Susya, villagers greeted the participants, and they separated into three groups who visited families and were told of the kinds of hardships placed upon them by the settlers and the Israeli military.
The march started around noon, with people holding signs saying: ‘There is Another Way’, ‘Save Susya’, and ‘Stop the Occupation’. During the march and the protest they chanted: ‘End the occupation! No more settlements! Two states – Two peoples!’.
At the protest, Dov Khenin, member of the Israeli Knesset, said: “There is no better place to commemorate the Naksa Day than Susya. Its story tells, in a nutshell, the entire story of the occupation.”
He added “They tell the residents: you have no place in the world. This path of dispossession and deportation is obviously meant to prevent Palestinians from having a future. But the truth is it also prevents a real future for Israelis. The battle against it is not only a battle of solidarity and justice, but also our own battle for our future.”
“We are here today to show how the Israeli military is forcing people out of their homes, and to stand against the injustice that is being done by the occupation.”, explained Hafez Hureini, Beer-Sheva/Hebron Palestinian coordinator of Combatants for Peace.
Shai Eluk, Beer-Sheva/Hebron Israeli coordinator of Combatants for Peace said at the demonstration: “Three years ago I was here as a soldier, serving in the southern Hebron region. Shortly after I got here, I realized I had to talk to the villagers I met, and ask them about their lives. When I understood the situation, I approached my commander, telling him that I was unable to continue serving in the West Bank, since my presence here supports the violence and the occupation.’
The Palestinian village of Susya, located in Area C in south Hebron, where the Southern group of CfP operates, has been in existence for more than a century.
Due to the planning policy of the Civil Administration in Area C, which systematically blocking any possibility for planning and issuing of building permits to Palestinians, the village has not received approval for its master plan and risk of deportation is constantly hovering over their heads.
Since 2001 settlers have taken over lands of the village, accompanied by violent harassment, with the aim to push the Palestinian residents from their lands. This month the Supreme Court allowed the Civil Administration to destroy the village, which will lead once again to deportation of the villagers, even before the master plan has been submitted.
The deportation will leave hundreds of families homeless during the summer months, without a solution and in a situation where they will be refugees on their own land and have nowhere to go. Susya is one village, but the threat to it is the story of many villages in Palestine, where lives are threatened on a daily basis by the occupation.
This is a broad trend of trying to push the Palestinians into Area A, which makes up a minor part of the West Bank. We must resist the dangerous precedent of the deportation of Susya residents.
About Combatants for Peace
“Combatants for Peace” was established by a group of Israelis and Palestinians who have taken an active part in the cycle of violence in the region and are now working nonviolently for peace and coexistence.
In recent years, we have conducted hundreds of joint activities which include tours, demonstrations, in-house meetings and lectures, in Israel and in Palestine. In these events we call for an end to the occupation and express our complete opposition to any form of violence together with the recognition of the existence of a partner in dialogue on the other side.