Hebron, South Hebron Hills, Wed 6.3.13, Morning
Translator: Charles K.
We entered through the Meitar crossing and drove to Umm Faqra to leave large sacks of clothing that had been collected, and candy for the children. We saw the progress Fadel had made constructing his house. One room is already being used; there are windows and mattresses along the walls. They’re still working on the second room. We gave M. an envelope with the money we’d all donated. Everyone’s invited to contribute, so that Fadel will be able to install windows and finish building. We drank tea, gazed at the lovely landscape and drove on.
While we were driving we received a call from Nasser, from Sussiya, who asked us to come visit and talk – so we drove back to Sussiya. Nasser, who works for B’Tselem and speaks Hebrew well, sat us down and told us about the problems:
The village of Halat-a-Daba, near Umm Faqra, received stop-work orders, which will be followed by demolition orders.
A month ago a court hearing took place regarding Sussiya; an outline plan was submitted and they’re waiting for approval. The army was given 90 days to explain why the residents should not be permitted to build. There are 60 cisterns belonging to Sussiya in the surrounding hills but the army has taken over the area and if anyone comes they’re arrested and bail is set at NIS 1000-NIS 10,000.
The European Union helps underwrite water purchases from contractors in Yata and in Hebron; it’s brought in tanks by truck or tractor. The price – NIS 35 per cubic meter – is very high! They asked the Civil Administration for access to their cisterns. The reply: “You’re illegal.” Nasser: But all the outposts around here are also illegal according to Israeli law.
Who helps them? Organizations like Rabbis for Human Rights, Machsom Watch, groups from abroad; the German Foreign Office donates money for construction.
The school building in Sussiya – grades 1-4 – received a demolition order.
The village appears well-organized, compared to what we’d seen in the past. There’s a building used as a clinic and for local municipal council meetings. All the rest are sheds of various kinds.
In the distance, on a hill outside the Jewish settlement of Susya, a new prefab was erected yesterday, illegally!