Saturday, August 25 2012 Solidarity Visit in the Villages Slated for Demolition in the South Hebron Hills (“Firing Zone 918″).

The residents of the villages, together with the activists and groups active in the area, invite you to a solidarity visit in the villages which stand in immediate danger of demolition by the Israeli army and its “Civil Administration.” The Israeli Minister of Defense, Ehud Barak, recently gave orders to destroy eight Palestinian villages in the South Hebron Hills and to expel from their lands the 1,500 residents of the area. The residents are defined, in the Minister’s statement, as “squatters on Firing Zone 918.” This definition blatantly ignores historical documentation which proves that these villages have existed for hundreds of years. “Firing Zone 918,” on which the army is demanding it be able to train so as to “preserve the necessary competence of the IDF’s forces,” encompasses 30,000 dunams (over 7,000 acres) in the South Hebron Hills, including privately owned land and farming areas. Under the interinm agreemant that followed tho Oslo Accord and that was signed in 1995   60.2% of the West Bank is defined as “Area C,” meaning that it is under complete Israeli civil and military control (this agreement was supposed to expire within five years from its signing). The Israeli Government has since pursued a consistent policy in Area C aimed at deepening the permanent Israeli control over the area and to minimize the ability of Palestinians to live in it . This policy is implemented through a number of different methods: confiscation of lands via unilateral declarations of “State Land”, “National Parks” and “Special Security Zones”; through the non-provision of building permits (over 95% of the applications for permits filed by Palestinians between 2000 and 2009 were denied), the subsequent demolition of houses and structures built without permits,` through the intentional lack of master plans for the area (which enables Israel to decide and declare virtually anything as an “illegal structure”), and, of course, through closing areas declared as “Army Training Areas” or “Firing Zones.” About 18% of the West Bank has been declared closed “Firing Zones.” The existence of Israel’s regime of separation and discrimination is nothing new for the South Hebron Hills or for Palestinians living in Area C in general. At the same time that this threat of demolition hangs over the heads of these eight villages, and others in the area, including Susiya, dozens of settlement outposts are being constructed and established in the same area, without hindrance.

The threat of eviction has hung over these eight villages since 1999. There fate is to be decided now!

On August 31 we will go on a solidarity visit in some of the villages slated for demolition. come show support, ask questions, and see for yourself the villages which Israel’s government and army intend to erase. 

For details, and to register (NOTE: Clicking Attend on Facebook is Not Enough):

Tel Aviv: Alma– 0542292474

Jerusalem: Li– 0543043483

Please note that the physical conditions on the ground are harsh. The visit is intended to people with good walking abilities.

Please come with a hat, water,  passport/ID and shoes/clothes that are comfortable walking shoes (not sandals!).