Israel Weighs Demolition of Flagship EU Sustainability Project in West Bank Village of Susya

Chaim Levinson
Chaim Levinson
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Chaim Levinson
Chaim Levinson

Israel's Civil Administration in the West Bank on Thursday raided a Palestinian village in the south Hebron Hills and distributed stop work orders for tents, hothouses, a water well and a solar panel – many of which were set up with the help of the European Union for humanitarian purposes.

The significance of the stop work orders is that the Civil Administration's supervision committee will convene to discuss the legality of the project. If the committee decides that the projects are illegal, it has the power to issue demolition orders. The committee is due to convene next week.

The Palestinian village of Susya is located between an ancient site and an Israeli settlement, both of which carry the same name.

Some 300 Palestinians live in the village, in a cluster of tin shacks and tents.

The Civil Administration, Israel's governing body in the territory, has signaled in recent years that it plans to evacuate the area altogether.

Two insectors arrived on the site on Thursday morning, accompanied by four Border Police officers, and handed out 40 notices ordering all work to be halted.

In addition to the tents, hothouses and water wells – all used by the residents -  the inspectors ordered the demolition of a solar panel and an emergency tent for impoverished residents provided by the European Union.

France's Vice Consul happened to be touring the site when the demolition orders were distributed. The incident passed without clashes, though resident Nasser Nawaja said he would refuse any evacuation orders and would rather die than leave his home.

Israeli authorities are currently preparing the legal paperwork for a potential demolition of the village. The inspectors did not stop at any of the Jewish outposts nearby.

Meanwhile, Israeli settlers constructed two new unauthorized houses in the Mitzpeh Avigayil outpost.

Illustration: A bulldozer destroying tents in the West Bank village of Susya.Credit: Rabbis for Human Rights
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Palestinians issued stop work orders in Susya, West Bank, June 27, 2013.Credit: Moti Milrod
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Palestinians issued stop work orders in Susya, West Bank, June 27, 2013.Credit: Moti Milrod
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Palestinians issued stop work orders in Susya, West Bank, June 27, 2013.Credit: Moti Milrod

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