See below for recent updates on the renewed threat to the Palestinian village of Susya.
AUGUST 18 UPDATE: The State has requested the Court grant them a postponement until November 15th to submit their (the State’s) decision on whether or not dialogue between residents of Susya and the Civil Administration will continue. In addition, the State demands the power to demolish about 30% of the village, even before the November 15th date. In response, the Court ordered the State to explain if the State will agree to give prior notice before demolitions “given the factual dispute” between the sides.
AUGUST 1 UPDATE: Judge Naor, Barak-Erez and Hayut ruled to grant the state two weeks to submit the position of Defence Minister Lieberman concerning the proceedings. This might also include how communication between the state and the residents of Susya (i.e. the Petitioners) will continue. After this submission, the High Court can, amongst other things, determine whether to call for another hearing or, if the position submitted is positive, direct the sides to continue dialogue. Regarding the 30 structures currently under threat of immediate demolition, Judge Naor hinted that there would not be demolitions until the decision.
JULY 26 PRESS RELEASE: Unilateral and sudden suspension of dialogue between Susya and state leads to new fears of demolitions.
Refusal by the state to continue dialogue regarding the authorization of Susya implies an increased threat of demolitions occurring to 40% of the village. Were this to occur, the already very difficult humanitarian conditions existing in the village would be greatly exacerbated.Continuation of dialogue between residents and the State now depends on Israel’s new minister of defense.
For the most part, the situation in Susya will be decided by the High Court in an upcoming hearing scheduled for Monday August 1 at 9am. During this hearing, the Court will decide if it will accept the state’s request to immediately and without prior notice demolish 40% of the village. Most of the structures currently slated for demolition are residential, providing living quarters to approximately 100 people.
It is important to acknowledge that the IDF’s Civil Administration – responsible for planning in Area C – refuses to issue building permits to the residents of Susya. Over the years, dozens of these requests have been denied during on-going, protracted legal discussions. Faced with no other options, residents are forced to build ramshackle structures and tents on their privately owned land in order to survive the harsh desert conditions. The destruction of these basic structures will cause great deterioration to the living conditions in the village, which are already quite low.
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