The illegal village of Susya

The battle for Susya: what the Palestinians want

Approximately 300 Palestinian Bedouin have begun to build a village with European Union assistance without building permits; although the High Court of Justice issued a demolition order, nothing has changed on the ground; The Palestinians and the Israeli government are in negotiations over how to handle the issue.

The High Court of Justice ordered illegal structures in Susya to be demolished two years ago. The Court then requested the state's position on the issue. However, due to international pressure, the state has yet to take a stance.



The village of Susya is a Bedouin village built without permits in the Israeli controlled Area C of the West Bank. The international community has been putting pressure on the Israeli leadership to not destroy the illegal structures for years, saying that it would make 300 people homeless, and endanger the two state solution. The European Union has built structures on the land for the Palestinians without obtaining building permits from the Israeli government.


In an effort to come to an understanding between the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority, Israel has said that it wants to move the villagers to a nearby hill and give them 540 dunams next to the Palestinian town of Yatta, from which many of them hail. Meanwhile, the Palestinians have requested to make arrangements to enable the village to continue to exist where it is while giving the villagers 1,500 dunams of land for agricultural purposes.


The tent village of Susya with illegal EU built structures (Photo: Regavim) (Photo: Regavim)
The tent village of Susya with illegal EU built structures (Photo: Regavim)

After the "Regavim" movement brought the issue to the High Court of Justice's attention, the High Court issued an order forbidding the Palestinians from building additional structures in the village. A demolition order was signed in 2014 to demolish structures built despite the order not to build. The High Court also denied a Palestinian request to prohibit the relevant authorities from carrying out the demolitions. The High Court said that the Palestinians are making laws unto themselves, and are continuing to build in defiance of a court order.


Throughout this time, There have been dozens of attempts by the Israeli government and the Palestinians to try to come to a compromise, but they have all failed due to seemingly insurmountable differences between the two sides. The Palestinians insist that they are not willing to give up the land and claim they will not move under the framework of any solution.



The village of Susya (Photo: Regavim)
The village of Susya (Photo: Regavim)


Regavim replied in response, "this is a clan of a few dozen people making a crazy demand for land that is comparable to the size of Beit Dagan or Rosh Pina. The Nawajah family owns homes in Yatta and therefore it's the government's job to evict them to ensure they go back to their homes. Even the solution offered by the government to facilitate their relocation to areas close to Yatta is too lenient."


"We expect the Prime Minister to ignore foreign pressure, which constitutes blatant interference in the internal affairs of Israel, and make a decision which reflects the rule of law and the national interests of Israel," Regavim continued.


פרסום ראשון: 08.18.16, 11:25
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