[News] Palestinian village continuously inhabited for 3, 000 about to be destroyed by Israel

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Mon Oct 14 15:57:32 EDT 2013

  Palestinian village continuously inhabited for 3,000 about to be
  destroyed by Israel

author Monday October 14, 2013 01:57author by Saed Bannoura

    The Israeli High Court is set to rule on the forced expulsion of all
    of the residents of the village of Khirbat Zanuta, southwest of
    Hebron in the southern West Bank on Monday.

The decision comes five years after the initial order was made by the 
court to demolish the village. That decision was put on hold when an 
appeal was filed on behalf of the villagers by the Association for Civil 
Rights in Israel.

According to the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, "Last year, a 
Jewish expansionist organization named Regavim succeeded in reviving the 
case by filing an amicus-curia request; soon thereafter, the state 
submitted its full response to the petition. In April 2012, the Civil 
Administration issued additional demolition orders for new structures in 
the village, including several cisterns (ACRI is arguing that objections 
to the new orders should be joined to the original petition, but the 
Civil Administration disagrees). The Supreme Court heard additional 
arguments on July 30, 2012. During the hearing, the justices delivered 
harsh criticism of the State for its intent to demolish the village 
without suggesting a solution for its residents."

But the decision on Monday is expected to result in the forced expulsion 
of all of the village's inhabitants, who have lived on the land of their 
ancestors for as long as they can remember. They consider themselves 
stewards of the ancient archaeological site on which they live and tend 
their sheep, and have prevented any looting or destruction of artifacts 
on the site.

The Zionist organization Regavim that managed to revive the demolition 
order on the village had a quick response time from the court. The 
Israeli daily Ha'aretz reports that the organization has a "cozy 
relationship with the authorities", according to its Director Bezalel 
Smotrich, who told the settler website Hakol Hayehudi on July 31, 2012, 
"Another parameter of the success of Regavim's activities is the 
treatment by authorities in the establishment. Among the ranks in the 
field and in a lot of departments of the Interior Ministry, Israel Land 
Administration, the Justice Ministry and more, they view Regavim as a 
positive factor that is coming to their aid to steel them against the 
pressure they receive from the left. Most of them are good people, 
idealistic people... happy for the counter-pressure we exercise after 
years in which they absorbed so much heat in the form of pressure and 
letters from left-wing organizations."

The inhabitants of Khirbat Zanuta are shepherds, who have traditionally 
lived in caves and structures around the cave entrances. The village is 
located in what Israel calls 'Area C', a designation created under the 
Oslo Accords in 1993 for land that was to temporarily remain under 
Israeli civil administration control, but should have been transitioned 
to Palestinian rule within five years. That never happened, and all of 
the areas designated as 'Area C' in 1993 remain under full Israeli 
control today -- most of the 500,000 Israeli settlers that have taken 
over land in the West Bank in the twenty years since that designation 
have moved into 'Area C'.

According to the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, "

The case of Zanuta is demonstrative of the Israeli government's planning 
policy as it relates to the Palestinians in Area C, in which actions as 
severe as the destruction of basic humanitarian structures are justified 
by an absurd Catch 22 that penalizes residents for failing to apply for 
a permit they could never have been granted. If these demolition orders 
are carried out, the residents of Zanuta will be stripped of their most 
basic humanitarian rights: shelter, water, and livelihood, not to 
mention dignity, culture, and way of life. As an occupying power in Area 
C, Israel is bound by international law to protect the indigenous 
community. The case exemplifies a policy of demolishing buildings in 
Palestinian villages that removes indigenous peoples from their lands in 
absolute violation of the international law which protects them."

Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 
863.9977 www.freedomarchives.org
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