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Masafer Yatta Instagram Live!

Tune in to learn how you can stand in solidarity with Palestinian people as they defend Masafer Yatta from Israel’s violence. We’ll be joined by Sami Huraini, a Palestinian activist and co-founder of Youth Of Sumud / شباب صمود, based in Masafer Yatta.

Since June of 2022, the Israeli regime has been demolishing multiple homes and an elementary school for Palestinian children in Masafer Yatta. The Palestinian people in Masafer Yatta have existed and tended to their land for generations. Now, within a matter of minutes, Israeli forces could uproot the lives of nearly 1,000 Palestinian people in Masafer Yatta through demolitions, arrests, and constant attacks on their lives.

Please be sure to join us on Monday at 7:00 PM Palestine time/12:00 Noon ET to learn how you can help defend Masafer Yatta. Our collective action can and will make a difference, and it is up to us to show up for Palestinian people now and for future generations.

#DefendMasaferYatta

ACT NOW: Prevent water cistern demolition in Sfai, South Hebron Hills

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December 24, 2022

In this time of Hanukkah, while Jews celebrate the miracle of the oil that lasted 8 days, the Palestinian village of Sfai in the desert of Masafer Yatta is about to have its water cisterns demolished. There could not be a more cruel irony. No water means no life.

We are supporting our friends at Rebuilding Alliance in their campaign to ask Congress to intervene in the demolition. On December 26th (the 8th day of Hanukkah), Israel’s Army is scheduled to respond in court to the appeal filed by the village of Sfai seeking to protect their water storage system. That means the judge can rule as early as the 27th — when Congress is out of session. The attorney believes that political intervention is needed now more than ever.

It’s easy to act. We are asking you to do three things today:

  • Send a form Email to your Representatives and Senators with one easy click HERE.
  • Call your Representative HERE.
  • Call your Senators HERE.

Your phone call to a congressional office is very influential, even if you just leave a voicemail. Here is the script for your call:

My name is ________ and I live at _______. As your constituent, I need your help tostop the demolition of water storage cisterns in the Palestinian village of Sfai and prevent the escalating demolition of humanitarian infrastructure in Masafer Yatta. This is urgent: please call the Israeli Embassy State Department today or tomorrow at the latest.

  • In June of last year 2021, the village of Sfai’s water mains were demolished by the Israeli Army, leaving only the water cisterns to sustain the community.
  • Now, the water cisterns are at risk of being demolished.

Please have your staff call the Israeli Embassy and the U.S. State Department on my behalf as a constituent. Fast track Congressional intervention has prevented the demolition of Palestinian villages and schools.

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South Hebron Hills Watch is a group of Israeli American volunteers who forged a strong connection with Palestinian residents of the South Hebron Hills and Jewish activists who are providing witness and physical support to these communities. We are not affiliated with any political party or organization but partner with like-minded people and organizations that support nonviolent activity on the ground and amplify the plight of these Palestinian families in the face of a broader effort to remove them from their lands. Please follow us on Facebook , Instagram, and Twitter. Subscribe to our mailing list.

 

2022 was a record year for settler violence. Next year will be even worse.

Palestinians say the worrying trend will only worsen as right-wing extremists make their home in Israel’s new government.

YUMNA PATEL, MONDOWEISS, DECEMBER 15, 2022

Israeli security forces deploy amid altercations between Jewish settlers on their way to visit the tomb of Othniel ben Kenaz in the area H1 (controlled by Palestinian authorities) and Palestinian residents, in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron, on November 19, 2022. (Photo: Mamoun Wazwaz/APA Images)

The violence was indescribable. Something they had never witnessed before. 

That is what the Palestinian residents of Hebron told Mondoweiss days after what they described as a settler “rampage” through their city in mid-November. 

“It was like a sea of settlers, and all of them were filled with hate in their eyes,” Bader al-Tamimi, a local shop owner and municipality worker, told Mondoweiss from the doorway of his souvenir shop in the heart of Hebron’s Old City. 

“There were hundreds, thousands of them, with even more soldiers protecting them, and they just started attacking anything Palestinian – people and shops,”al-Tamimi said. 

Al-Tamimi was describing the events of Saturday, November 19, when tens of thousands of Israeli settlers from around the occupied West Bank gathered in Hebron for the annual march throughout the city in honor of the Torah reading from the Book of Genesis where Abraham purchases a plot of land in Hebron in which to bury his wife, known as ‘Shabbat Chayei Sarah’. 

Israeli security forces deploy amid altercations between Jewish settlers on their way to visit the tomb of Othniel ben Kenaz in the area H1 (controlled by Palestinian authorities) and Palestinian residents, in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron, on November 19, 2022. (Photo: Mamoun Wazwaz/APA Images)

The annual march typically draws the most fanatic, right-wing, and religious settlers, who use the event to partake in unbridled attacks against the local Palestinians. 

This year, however, was different. 

“They came out from this gate right here,” al-Tamimi said, pointing to a large steel gate next to an armored military tower covered in Israeli flags. The gate, which sits opposite al-Tamimi’s shop, is one of the entrances to the Israeli-controlled area of the city, where hundreds of extremist Israeli settlers live in the former homes of Palestinians, now Jewish-only settlements. 

Bader al-Tamimi stands outside his shop in the Old City of Hebron, in the occupied West Bank. (Akram al-Waara/Mondoweiss)

“They immediately started throwing things at us and attacking our shops. They tried to break everything and tried to assault us,” al-Tamimi said, referring to himself and his neighboring shopkeeper, who defied Israeli army orders that forced Palestinian shops in the area to shut down for the weekend. 

“When we tried to defend ourselves, the soldiers who were with them started beating us up,” he said, pointing to a bruise on his arm that he said was left after an Israeli soldier hit him with the butt of his rifle. 

“Instead of stopping the settlers, the soldiers attacked us instead and let the settlers continue on their rampage.”

Defiling a mosque, vandalizing shops, assaulting Palestinians

As the hundreds of settlers passed al-Tamimi’s shop, they made their way through the Old City of Hebron, through the clothing and vegetable markets in the heart of the city, before continuing on to the Bab al-Zawiya area of Hebron, which is under control of the Palestinian Authority. 

Rise of Israel’s far right puts focus back on the West Bank occupation

The Israeli-controlled checkpoint in Hebron (Bab al Zawiyah) divides Palestinians in their city. A new weapon placed on the side of checkpoint (upper right) was installed before recent Israeli elections. It can remotely shoot live ammunition as well as other special “crowd control” munitions. (Tanya Habjouqa/NOOR for The Washington Post)
The Israeli-controlled checkpoint in Hebron (Bab al Zawiyah) divides Palestinians in their city. (Tanya Habjouqa/NOOR for The Washington Post)


A new weapon on the right side of the checkpoint can remotely shoot live ammunition and special “crowd control” munitions. (Tanya Habjouqa/NOOR for The Washington Post)

Shira Rubin, The Washington Post, December 10, 2022

HEBRON, West Bank — Last month, as tens of thousands of right-wing Jewish pilgrims paraded through Hebron’s old city under the protection of the Israeli army, 18-year-old Aisha Alazza ventured onto her balcony to catch a glimpse. As she sipped coffee and watched the march spiral into violence, a gang of Israeli men approached from across the road, shouting “Whore!” at her in Arabic and throwing stones. She was struck in the face.

Since Palestinian cars are banned from this neighborhood, an ambulance was out of the question. Instead, Alazza’s four sisters took her inside, applied ice and oils to the swelling wound and waited for the men to go away.

Alazza knows she will see them again — after all, they are her neighbors. They are also directly linked to members of Religious Zionism, the once-fringe, far-right political bloc that has championed asserting Israeli sovereignty in the West Bank and will be the second largest force in the new Israeli government.


Aisha Alazza, 18, in her garden. (Tanya Habjouqa/NOOR for The Washington Post)

Even before Religious Zionism assumes office — taking on influential cabinet portfolios that will give them unprecedented control over this contested territory — their promises to set the stage for annexation are exacerbating the daily dangers and indignities of life in the occupied West Bank, residents say. Many warn that Hebron’s bloody, biblically tinged conflict, between its 800 hard line Israeli settlers and its 200,000 Palestinians, is a test case for the future of relations between the two peoples under the next government.

Some of the faces in incoming Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s new administration are familiar ones to Hebron. Both Itamar Ben Gvir and Orit Strook are residents of the nearby hard line settlement of Kiryat Arba and have harassed and assaulted Palestinians for decades.

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ACTION ALERT: The Israeli army closes Youth Against Settlements Community Center

Friends of Hebron (FOH)

Dear Friends,

The Israeli army showed up and closed our community center! The house belongs to Human Rights Defender Issa Amro, who is now left alone and isolated while under threat from the nearby Israeli settlement and army base. Tell the U.S. State Department to act now!

While Americans were celebrating Halloween, Israeli soldiers enforced a special closed military zone order onto Issa’s house, which doubles as the Youth Against Settlements (YAS) center.

A closed military zone order (CMZ) means that no one can enter—no journalists, volunteers, family members, or medical personnel. Issa is left alone, isolated, and fears for his safety. He has already received multiple death threats from settlers and soldiers.

The CMZ order specifically targets Issa’s house, as this satellite image shows.

Please sign the petition and don’t forget to donate! 

Israel Hayom‘s lies were the same lies about Issa that have often been perpetrated by the Israeli settlers in Hebron who terrorize the local Palestinian population on a daily basis in the city. These lies show that the newspaper had gotten used to publishing slander promoted by settler populations about Palestinians without any consequences, promoting these narratives without any actual journalistic standards or investigation.

The house is a meeting point for international and Israeli delegations, a training center for local volunteers, and a community center for Palestinians living in Hebron’s most restricted areas.

YAS were in the middle of a campaign to help local Palestinian famers harvest olives from their trees. Israeli settlers assaulted and harassed the farmers and volunteers multiple times during this period. Mr. Amro attempted to file a complaint at the local Israeli police station, but was refused. His house was closed the following day.

Help us call on the U.S. State Department to pressure Israel to lift the closure!

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Palestinians resisting forced removal by moving into caves

The people of Masafer Yatta are using ancestors’ caves to resist Israel’s home demolitions


Members of Palestinian Masafer Yatta communities determined to remain on their land despite Israeli forced evictions, south of Hebron in the West Bank, May 7, 2022. (Mamoun Wazwaz-Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Katherine Tangalakis-Lippert, Business Insider, October 23, 2022

  • Palestinians are resisting Israel’s Supreme Court order that they be removed from their homeland.

  • The people of Masafer Yatta are relying on their history of living in caves to resist eviction.

  • The United Nations says the forcible removal of the Palestinians could be a war crime.

In an effort to resist their forced eviction by Israeli authorities — which the United Nations has said may be a war crime — some Palestinians are living in caves to remain in their homeland.

“We have no home to live in and no tent — we have no option but to live in the cave,” The New York Times reported Wadha Ayoub Abu Sabha, 65, a resident of the village of Khirbet al-Fakheit, said. “The beginning of my life was in the cave, and the end of my life will be in the cave.”

The semi-nomadic people of the Masafer Yatta region have, for generations, lived in small homes and caves along the hillside as they migrated livestock across the area. The desert region, located at the southern tip of the occupied West Bank, is home to 33 villages where some residents, now facing the destruction of their homes by Israeli forces, have moved their families into the old caves to resist being displaced.

The caves are dusty and hot, The Guardian reported, with stone walls and improvised lighting attached to generators. Though their ancestors once used the caves willingly, residents now feel stuck, facing full Israeli control and the demolition of their existing homes.

“In these days we are jailed in our caves, we cannot move,” Indian news outlet EastMojo reported Hajja Halima Abu Younis, an 82-year-old woman from the Jinba village, said. “We are afraid the Israeli army will kill someone while they are conducting military training. The army trains tanks around our village. The sound of the bombs and shots scare the children and the flocks of animals. My son Issa cannot graze his 150 sheep during the military training. How can a shepherd be a shepherd if he cannot graze his sheep?”

In May, Israel’s Supreme Court approved the removal of the people of the Masafer Yatta villages, home to approximately 1,200 residents, in order to allow the country’s Army to use the land for a live-fire military training ground. The landmark decision was one of the largest removal rulings made by the court since Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories began in 1967.

“About 1,200 people, including 580 children, are now at imminent risk of forced eviction and displacement,” read a United Nations statement released shortly after the decision. “They stand to lose their homes, belongings, access to water, livelihoods, primary health facilities and schools. This could amount to forcible transfer, a grave breach of international humanitarian law and, thus a war crime.”

Read the original article at Business Insider

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Urgent Call to Defend Khallet ad-Dabe’ from Destruction

Stop the Wall, 26 September 2022

A whole village with over 90 residents is at the brink of being ethnically cleansed. The Israeli Supreme Court set September 29 as the date the demolition of Khallet Ad- Dabe’ can begin. The demolition orders include all homes and most livelihood structures in the village. 

If no action is taken to thwart Israeli demolition plans,
a whole village will be ethnically cleansed. 

Your action is crucial now!

Khallet ad-Dabe’ is one of the eight Palestinian villages in Masafer Yatta that apartheid Israel has classfied as a firing zone for its occupation forces. 20 Palestinian villages in the area have been struggling against ethnic cleansing policies for more than 40 years. 

The demolition of Khallet ad-Dabe’ village is part of a huge and systematic effort to deprive Palestinians of their lands in order to cement Jewish dominance over Masafer Yatta. If implemented, it would be Israel’s largest ethnic cleansing since 1968. 

In order to expel the indigenous Palestinian population, Israel destroys homes and schools, confiscates the land and steals natural resources as it expands illegal settlements and persecutes human rights defenders and residents.

Palestinians in Khallet Ad-Dabe’ are armed with hope, popular resistance, and local and international support. Their steadfastness on the ground is the fundamental element to protect their existence on their ancestral land. 

People struggle every day to reach their lands, jobs or schools. They are subjected to attacks by settlers and the military, beatings, abuse and murder. Families are fighting to defend their right to exist. 

What is happening in Masafer Yatta is the result of the failure of world powers to act to end Israel’s impunity, hold those responsible for Israeli apartheid, occupation and settler-colonialism accountable and ensure respect of International Law and Palestinian human rights.

Here is what you can do to defend Khallet ad-Dabe’:

  1. Join us on Wednesday September 28 on social media! On our website, twitter, facebook and instagram you will find posts to share. Here below can download graphics, info and messaging to share and raise awareness on the imminent destruction of Khallet ad-Dabe’ on social media. Use the hashtag #DefendMasaferYatta and #UNinvestigateApartheid.
  2. Write to your government’s foreign ministry and diplomatic missions and ask them to urgently take all actions at their disposal to stop the ethnic cleansing of Khallet ad-Dabe’ and Masafer Yatta. Find a model letter below.
  3. Mobilize support from human rights organizations, political parties, members of parliament, trade unions, church, and other civil society groups, asking them to help you put pressure on your government to stop the demolition of Khallet ad-Dabe’, #DefendMasaferYatta and impose sanctions on Israel to #DismantleApartheid.
  4. Build BDS campaigns to pressure the bulldozer companies to stop profiting from and enabling Israeli demolitions. 

Model letter to your government or diplomatic mission:

To: [….]

Subject: A request for urgent action to defend the Palestinian village Khallet ad-Dabe’ from Israeli demolition

A whole village with over 90 residents is at the brink of being ethnically cleansed by Israel. On September 9, the Israeli Supreme Court set September 29 as the date the demolition of Khallet Ad- Dabe’ , occupied West Bank, can begin. The demolition orders include all homes and most livelihood structures in the village. 

If no action is taken to thwart Israeli demolition plans, a whole village will be ethnically cleansed. 

Khallet ad-Dabe’ is one of the eight Palestinian villages in Masafer Yatta that apartheid Israel has classfied as a firing zone for its occupation forces. 20 Palestinian villages in the area have been struggling against ethnic cleansing policies for more than 40 years. 

The demolition of Khallet ad-Dabe’ village is part of a huge and systematic effort to deprive Palestinians of their lands in order to cement Jewish dominance over Masafer Yatta. If implemented, it would be Israel’s largest ethnic cleansing since 1968. 

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Update: On-The-Ground Jewish Solidarity with Masafer Yatta

Thanks to those who attended our webinar “On the Ground Jewish Solidarity with Palestinian Resistance in Masafer Yatta” with Peter Beinart, Awdah Hathaleen, Nur Zahor, and Zack Witus. If you didn’t have a chance to see it, you can watch the recording. The testimony by our panelists was emotional and powerful.

It was apparent that the expulsion of Palestinians from Masafer Yatta is happening right under our noses in daily increments. Many left the webinar wanting to take action. Below are resources and suggested actions for you to take today!

Resource Links

TAKE ACTION NOW


REGISTER HERE

 

Join us for an exciting webinar, moderated by Peter Beinart, exploring the role of Jewish activists as they join Palestinian-led resistance to the escalating violence of the Israeli occupation. Together, they stand against the state policy enabling daily army and settler violence, home demolitions, and mass expulsions in Masafer Yatta.

The webinar will focus on the connections between Jews (diaspora and Israeli) and Palestinians in the justice movement in Masafer Yatta. We will discuss the imbalance of power and the responsibility Jewish activists have in standing in solidarity, the personal transformations that take place through this work together, how each of the speakers carries this work forward, and the central importance that this joint struggle activism has. Going beyond personal connections, the work creates space for us to stand up together against Israeli settler and army violence and oppression, and make an impact today and in the future.

  • Peter Beinart, moderator – journalist and professor of journalism at CUNY.
  • Nur Zahor – an Israeli Arabic and Hebrew teacher and activist in Masafer Yatta.
  • Awdah Hathaleen – Palestinian Human rights activist, English teacher, and journalist from Masafer Yatta
  • Zak Witus – Young Leadership & Education Coordinator for New Israel Fund and a recent participant in the Center For Jewish Nonviolence Sustained Solidarity Hineinu delegation in Masafer Yatta.

South Hebron Hills Watch is a group of Israeli American volunteers who forged a strong connection with Palestinian residents of the South Hebron Hills and Jewish activists who are providing witness and physical support to these communities. We are not affiliated with any political party or organization but partner with like-minded people and organizations that support nonviolent activity on the ground and amplify the plight of these Palestinian families in the face of a broader effort to remove them from their lands. Please follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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