The Palestinians living in Susya in the occupied West Bank should appeal to the United Nations and the US administration to save their village from demolition by the Israel military, Joint List MK Dov Khenin said during a solidarity visit to the area on Sunday, February 18, along with the head of the Joint List, MK Ayman Odeh.
The villagers who gathered to meet with the two parliamentarians welcomed Khenin’s words. At issue is the immediate fate of seven “illegally” built modular structures, mostly tents and shacks, that the Israeli military is expected to demolish in the near future.
The MKs reminded the residents of Susya that the Obama administration had been vocal in its opposition to the demolition of their village, and Democratic members of Congress continue to speak out on its behalf. Odeh admitted “I don’t know what the situation is with Trump. No one can say” but Khenin added that, regarding US presidents, sometimes, “even if the overall policy is problematic, on a specific point, they have an interest in showing that they are not one-sided.”
Khenin emphasized that the plans to raze Susya are not merely about local issues regarding land and authorizations, but are rather part of the larger Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The decision to demolish homes here “comes from the highest echelon,” and combating the threat of demolition must involve a campaign that creates international pressure to thwart such a move, he suggested. Odeh added that the danger to the village has increased in the wake of the corruption investigations against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “The weaker he is, the more dangerous he is,” said Odeh, explaining that he was now more dependent than ever on the far right HaBayit HaYehudi (Jewish Home) party, which wants to annex Area C of the occupied West Bank.
“Susya has become a symbol of the battle against the attempt to expel Palestinian-Bedouin from Area C, so that the territory can be annexed with as few Palestinians as possible,” Odeh tweeted during his visit. “This isn’t just the battle of one small village but a battle about Israel’s future and the future of a Palestinian state,” Khenin said. “With our visit we want to show that there is still hope for a Palestinian state here.”