Friday, July 31

Senator Feinstein urges Netanyahu not to demolish Palestinian village

Uprooting Sussia’s residents would further isolate Israel, increase tensions with Palestinians and provoke unnecessary violence, Democrat writes in letter to the prime minister.


Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) urged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday to stop Israel’s efforts to raze the Palestinian village of Sussia in the West Bank, saying that uprooting the village’s residents would further isolate Israel, increase tensions with the Palestinians and provoke unnecessary violence.

“Demolishing Palestinian homes, displacing residents, and seizing additional Palestinian territory in the West Bank is a step away from peace. To preserve land for a future Palestinian state, your government must not destroy Susiya [sic],” the senator wrote in a letter.

Feinstein gave a detailed account of Sussia’s history and legal battle facing the Civil Administration, noting that the village has existed at least since the 1830s. The Civil Administration should reconsider the village’s petition for a master plan “so that the area’s Palestinian villagers can live in peace and with legal certainty,” Feinstein wrote.

“I fear that uprooting Susiya’s residents before the world’s attention would only further isolate Israel, increase tension with the Palestinians and provoke unnecessary violence,” she wrote.

Feinstein concluded by affirming her commitment to Israel, and by urging Netanyahu to refrain from “inflammatory or provocative action.”

Sussia is located in the South Hebron Hills near the town of Yatta, which is near Hebron. The village, home to 40 families, does not have a valid master expansion plan, and no building permits have been issued in the area. Following a petition filed by an organization funded by the right-wing group Amana, the High Court of Justice ruled that the government must demolish the village.

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