On Thursday, February 1st , Israel’s High Court of Justice, ruled that the Israeli Government may immediately demolish seven homes in the Palestinian village of Susiya — before the High Court even hears the villager’s petition for reconsideration of their master zoning plan.
We met with Congresswoman Eshoo yesterday, and she said the only way to stop these demolitions is for our Senators and Representatives to call the Israeli Embassy. This is especially true of the ten Senators, led by Senator Feinstein and Senator Sanders, who sent letters to Israel's Prime Minister and the ten Representatives, led by Congresswoman Eshoo, who sent letters to our President and Secretary of State. I know Senator Feinstein has already made her call.
All members of Congress promise to respond when constituents ask:
- Please call your members of Congress and ask to speak to their Senior Staff for Foreign Policy.
- In your message, ask the Senior Staff to call the Israeli Embassy today to urge the Ambassador to stop the demolition of 7 homes in Susiya and prevent making 21 children and their families homeless.
- Then send this updated email to your members of Congress to urge their action now!
Below, I've attached the urgent update from Haqel, the human rights organization representing the village of Susiya.
Please forward this message to your friends — Let's turn the tide.
Questions? Suggestions? Call us at 650 651-7165.
Executive Director, Rebuilding Alliance
High Court Decision:
7 Structures in the Village of Susya will be Demolished with Immediate Effect
The High Court of Justice decided today in response to the petitioners’ request to halt the demolition of 20 structures in the village of Susya. In the decision, the court determined that of the 20 structures, 7 structures could be demolished without delay by the Civil Administration. These structures are home to 42 residents of the village, of which half are children and others, ill. The court took the decision despite the fact that there are no alternative living arrangements or basic sanitary services necessary for the survival and well-being of the affected residents. However, the court determined that the village clinic must not be demolished until July, if and when an alternative arrangement is found.
The court did not respond to the state’s request to demolish 20 structures, and the decision regarding the 13 structures which will not be demolished is a positive step in the right direction. The court stated that weight needs to be given to humanitarian considerations in applying laws of building and planning. Chief Justice Esther Hayut stated: “The court cannot accept the respondents’ outright claim that humanitarian needs are not relevant under any circumstances.” In addition: “Despite the fact that there is no dispute that the clinic was built illegally, it is reasonable that it was set up as an essential service for life in the village, and that its demolition would result in significant hardship to the petitioners and the village as a whole.”
It must be emphasized that the entire village is still under threat of demolition.
- Firstly, the 7 structures are not dependent on the court decision and the threat of demolition is immediate!
- Secondly, 20 additional structures are under threat of demolition following the one-sided warning given by the state.
- Third, the future of the village is dependent on the decision of the court in response to the High Court appeal submitted following the rejection of the master plan initiated by the residents of the village. The court has instructed the state to provide its response regarding the plan by May 7th, 2018.
Haqel’s response: “The court decision, requested by the state, reduced the extent of the demolitions in the historical Palestinian village of Susya to 7 structures. In this regard, the court strengthened the need that laws of planning and building in an occupied territory requires an evaluation of humanitarian needs as part of the obligation of the occupying power. However, the residents of Susya live under the constant threat of “the terror of demolition” on a daily basis, as the state demands their displacement from unknown location to location, under the open sky and in so doing, continues to violate its obligation according to International Humanitarian Law.
For further details:
- Adv. Quamar Mishirqi-Assad
Legal Counsel to the village of Susya and Co-Director of Haqel: 050-828-3106
- Adena Ben-Reuven, Co-Director, Haqel: 054-208-0195
P.S. Be sure to send this updated email to your members of Congress to urge their action now!