Hundreds of Palestinians, Israelis, and foreigners have taken to the streets of a village near the occupied West Bank city of al-Khalil (Hebron) to voice anger at Tel Aviv’s plan to demolish the village.
The Friday rally took place in Susya, southeast of al-Khalil, on the Naksa Day, or the Day of Setback, which is commemorated by Palestinians on June 5 every year, marking the displacement of the Palestinian people following the 1967 war with Israel.
The protesters chanted slogans against the planned destruction of the village and called on the Israeli regime to halt the decision.
Nearly 340 inhabitants of Susya village are at risk of displacement after Israel’s high court last month rejected a petition filed by local residents to halt demolition orders for the village.
The ruling by the court means that the Israeli regime could move in and demolish the residential and agricultural structures at any time, although the Israeli army has refused to say when it plans to ruin the village.
Dov Hanin, a Jewish member of the Israeli parliament (Knesset), said during the Friday rally that no place was better than Susya to mark the anniversary of the 1967 war, in which Israel took control of the Palestinian-populated West Bank and Gaza Strip.
“Susya tells the entire story in a nutshell,” he told the protesters. “The residents are told ‘you’ve no place on the face of the earth.'”
Around 280,000 to 325,000 Palestinians fled their homes out of the territories taken by Israel during and in the aftermath of the 1967 Six-Day War.
Also on Friday, Makarim Wibisono, the UN special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the occupied territories, urged Israel to stop its plans for the forced relocation of Palestinian Bedouins in the West Bank.
Denouncing Israel’s plans for the forcible removal of several Bedouin communities from their homes, Wibisono expressed concern “at indications that the roll-out of plans, which in their full effect are believed to entail the forced eviction and forcible transfer of thousands of people, contrary to international human rights law and international humanitarian law, now appears imminent.”
The Israeli regime is under fire for tearing down the homes of Palestinians, with international organizations and rights groups repeatedly calling on the Israeli regime to stop demolition plans.
More than half a million Israelis live in over 120 illegal settlements built on occupied territories of the West Bank and East al-Quds (Jerusalem).