International Solidarity Movement
This morning the Israeli army demolished homes, wells and trees in the village of Susiya, South Hebron Hills. Two families were made homeless.
A total of five tents, two wells and a number of olive trees were demolished. Tens of troops and two bulldozers were used.
Neighbours were prevented from reaching the families, and teachers on their way to school in Susiya were stopped, and their IDs confiscated, until the demolition was completed.
The families had received their third notice of demolition in January 2011 but were not informed of the date of demolition.
Three Palestinians were arrested and two international visitors were threatened with arrest when soldiers and police arrived in the evening declaring the area a closed military zone.
The families were evicted from a nearby cave which they were using as temporary housing until the new housing could be rebuilt. They formerly lived in the cave, but later moved into tents and were forced to move to the current location because of harassment from illegal settlers and the Israeli army.
Susiya is a small farming community in the hills south of Hebron. Being close to illegal settlements, it is often the target of harassment from settlers or the army. Being in Area C under the Oslo Accords, the Israeli military has full control. Building permits are almost impossible to obtain for Palestinians, so they live in makeshift tents, most of which are constantly under threat of demolition.
Internationals assist by living in the community and by accompanying shepherds as they graze their sheep. The constant threat of home demolitions is very stressful for the Palestinian residents of the area.