Hundreds protest West Bank village demolition

Published Friday, June 22, 2012

Hundreds gathered to protest against Israel's demolition of a Palestinian village in the West Bank on Friday, with some confrontation with the Israeli army.

Israel declared that the majority of the village of Susiya, south of Hebron, should be destroyed as they had been erected without its permission.

If the orders are carried out, about 50 structures, effectively the entire village, will be demolished, with much of the land expected to be given to a nearby illegal Jewish settlement.

A few hundred protesters marched towards the village's well, but the Israeli army prevented them from reaching their target, activist Abir Kopty said.

"The plan was to march to the original village of Susiya, but it was blocked by a big force of the army who shot some tear gas and sound bombs. One protester was hit in head by a sound bomb and was taken to hospital," she said.

"The villagers were not even allowed to approach their water well which was few meters away as the army prevented them."

Al-Akhbar contributor Lazar Simeonov said that there were around 500 protesters, but none had been detained.

"Nobody got arrested, there was some confrontation, some pushing, but nobody got arrested. They used some tear gas and sound grenades at the beginning," he said.

The destruction of the village has been postponed for two weeks due to an ongoing appeal, but the Israeli high court is expected to confirm the ruling.

The village has previously been destroyed on five occasions, but each time local residents have rebuilt their town in defiance of Israel's occupation and colonization.

Israel continues to expand Jewish settlements in the West Bank, which are deemed illegal under international law.

Indigenous Palestinians form an overwhelming majority in the West Bank, but suffer under harsh restrictions imposed by Israel's military occupation, which many activists have said amount to apartheid.

(Al-Akhbar)

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