Susya: a Palestinian lie financed by the Europeans
Everybody knows that the settlements beyond the Green Line receive extensive subsidies and incentives. For example, a small community south of Hebron receives wind turbines to produce free electricity, it gets free mobile homes, free air conditioners, free toilets, free water tanks, a free library, free agricultural sheds, a free mobile clinic and free health care, and even basic food items, completely for free. Oh yeah, and a free mosque.
Why a mosque? Because this settlement is an illegal Palestinian outpost, established in Israeli territory (Area C according to the Oslo Accord’s territorial division), and is located near the Jewish settlement of Susya in the southern Hebron hills. Who finances it? The EU, of course, but we'll get to them later.
After the signing of the Oslo Accord in 1993, and especially since 2009, Palestinians began to establish outposts in Area C (which is under Israeli control), with massive European funding. The positioning of these outposts seems random, but it is planned: strategic locations designed to interrupt the continuity of Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria. This program is called the "Fayyad Plan", named after Salam Fayyad, the Palestinian official who conceived it. The Europeans, for their part, are joining the initiative as they consider Judea and Samaria occupied territory and are working to establish a Palestinian state in the entire territory.
Back to Susya: the Nawjah clan, which claims historical ownership of land near the Jewish settlement of Susya, refused an Israeli offer to move to the nearby town of Yatta. Its members decided to stay in the hills, get all the perks the Europeans give them, and build houses in Israeli territory, in contradiction of local planning and violation of the law.
Clashes with the adjacent Jewish settlement of Susya soon followed. They peaked in 2001, when Mohammed Noor murdered Yair Har-Sinai, a shepherd from Susya, who advocated pacifism and never carried a weapon. In accordance with a military injunction, the clan’s houses were destroyed. The killer was expelled from the grazing land but returned about a decade later due to pressure from left-wing organizations and the courts.
In 2011 the Arabs petitioned the Israeli High Court and demanded access to 3,000 dunams of the Jewish settlement. The High Court dismissed the petition, asking the petitioners why they were only waking up 30 years after the establishment of the (Jewish) community. A year later, the Jewish community petitioned the High Court, claiming that the Arabs had built a village and demanding its destruction. Although the High Court often side with the Arabs, this time it ordered the army to explain why it was not destroying the village and issuing an injunction that prohibits Palestinians from continuing to build. A freeze of the situation.
Since then villagers violated the order four times by building new buildings. This angered the court, which ordered the structures destroyed at once, without any right of appeal. From that moment, the villagers, backed by leftist NGOs, began a huge campaign against the demolition of buildings constructed against a court order. The campaign not only forgets the fact that the order only applies to some of the buildings in the village (the campaign speaks of the destruction of the entire village of Susya), and doesn’t mention that these houses were built during a court-ordered construction freeze. Of course it also refers to the destruction of homes "without giving residents an alternative", although they all have a home in Yatta. Moreover, the state decided to give them more property: state land close to Area A. The Palestinians not only rejected the generous offer, they also concealed it in their campaign.
US State Department Spokesman John Kirby referred on July 16 to the storm in Susya that has not yet erupted and said, "We are closely watching what is happening in the village Susya. We strongly urge the Israeli authorities to refrain from carrying out any demolitions in the village. Demolition of this Palestinian village or of parts of it, and evictions of Palestinians from their homes, would be harmful and provocative. Such actions have an impact beyond those individuals and families who are evicted."
This lie must be stopped. It is inconceivable that Arabs will run wild and build wherever they want, violate international agreements and court orders, only to have the whole world back them up and urge us to whitewash this crime.
Karni Eldad is a musician, married, and a mother of two, a resident of Tekoa (West Bank).