US warns Israel against demolishing illegal Palestinian ramshackle structures

US State Department says carrying out Israeli court order to demolish the illegal encampment of Sussiya could have ‘negative impact on the region’

By i24news


The United States cautioned Israel against plans to demolish a Palestinian village in the West Bank, warning that such action could have a negative impact on the region.

View of the ramshackle village of Susya on state land near the West Bank town of Hebron – Photo: Hazem Bader/AFP

Israel’s military ruling authority in the West Bank claims the Palestinians built their homes in the village of Sussiya without permission and lack necessary infrastructure.

Residents of the village in the south Hebron Hills insist that they have been forced to build illegally because permits are never granted and they accuse the Israeli authorities of deliberately denying them access to facilities.

“We strongly urge the Israeli authorities to refrain from carrying out any demolitions in the village,” State Department spokesperson John Kirby said in a Thursday press briefing.

Kirby said the evictions and demolitions “would be harmful and provocative.”

“Such actions have an impact beyond those individuals and families who are evicted,” Kirby added. “We are concerned that the demolition of this village may worsen the atmosphere for a peaceful resolution and would set a damaging standard for displacement and land confiscation.”

Envoys from all 28 European Union member states visited Sussiya in June to send a sharp message to Israel not to implement the eviction and demolition order.

The delegation attended a ceremony highlighting the plight of some 300 villagers who face being made homeless after Israel’s Supreme Court upheld a plan to demolish their ramshackle houses and force them to relocate from the lands they have called home for generations.

John Gatt-Rutter, the EU’s representative in Jerusalem, said Khirbet Susiya had become “a by-word for a policy that has deprived Palestinians of their land and resources.”

“Our presence here today indicates how seriously we in the EU view the intention to demolish this village and its structure and evict its residents,” he said. “But Susiya isn’t an isolated case. It’s hard not to draw parallels with what’s happening elsewhere in the West Bank and with Bedouin communities.”


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