Masafar Yatta, south of Hebron, is composed of 20 Palestinian villages. Palestinians have been living and herding their livestock there since generations. On May 4, Israeli courts gave the green light for the demolition of 8 of these villages (hamlets), home to some 1300 people. Israel can now advance the ethnic cleansing of the area, annex it and further colonize it with illegal settlements.
Demolitions have already started and, if this continues, it would be the largest expulsions carried out by Israel since the occupation of the West Bank in 1967.
Removals of Palestinians, or ethnic cleansing such as in Masafer Yatta, are a core element of Israel’s regime of apartheid.
Our call: Join us in the Masafer Yatta World Tour!
Help us with your initiatives to bring Masafer Yatta to the center of initiatives and actions in towns and cities across the world.
Together we can reverse their strategies to isolate and segregate Masafer Yatta and to render Palestinian lives insignificant and dispensable.
Together we can reverse their plans to ethnically cleanse the villages of Masafer Yatta.
Together we can end Israeli apartheid.
Start organizing now and build pressure culminating September 13 – the day the UN General Assembly starts. Let’s build momentum to defend Masafer Yatta and to push UN member states to agree on a UN investigation of Israeli apartheid and the reactivation of its mechanisms to end apartheid.
For Masafer Yatta, for Palestine, for humanity: The United Nations need to act now!
The physical destruction of the villages is only the culmination of a strategy of isolation, segregation and deprivation that Israeli apartheid has implemented over decades.
At the beginning of the 1980s, Israel declared 3000ha of the 3600ha that make up Masafer Yatta as a military training zone – Firing Zone 918. This serves today as a legal pretext to forcibly expel the Palestinian population. Since then, the communities have been deprived of access roads, infrastructure and systematically marginalized, while illegal settlements have started to take over their land.
The cruel logic behind the strategy is obvious: once they are isolated and invisibilized, the Palestinians inhabiting the targeted villages may be pushed to leave, unable to resist and without outside support.
No part of our people is expendable. Our people in Masafer Yatta are neither peripheral to our struggle nor will they be collateral damage of Israeli settler-colonialism. We aren’t movable objects in Israel’s apartheid strategy.
In Masafer Yatta, we are families and communities with our histories and our future, which has been and is being built here. Israel, with its colonial claims, calls it a non productive land to be transformed by their agri-business: we call it our home, a land that has since generations brought us our livelihoods. We are steadfast and determined to resist and to stay where we have always lived. We will rebuild the homes they destroy, until the day we are free.
We need urgent action to defend our homes.
We know that we will be save only once Israel’s regime of apartheid, occupation and colonialism has come to an end.
Youth of Sumoud
Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign
How to join the Masafer Yatta World Tour?
(1) Plan a ‘tour date’ – an activity to build pressure to defend Masafer Yatta
Your activity can be anything you believe has the most impact in your context. You may organize:
- A conference and video link a speaker from Masafer Yatta. (We’ll be happy to connect you.)
- A photo exhibit. (We can share photos and captions.)
- Virtual tours in Masafer Yatta. (We’ll be happy to help you figure out the logistics for this)
- Report backs of or live links with in-person tours to be organized. (We’ll be happy to help with the logistics on the ground.)
- Radio or TV programs.
- Briefings of decision makers.
- Murals and artistic interventions.
- Letters to your ministry of foreign affairs or consulates calling on them to pressure the Israeli government to halt the expulsion of Palestinians in Masafer Yatta.
The most impactful ‘tour dates’ are the ones that are able to combine moments of public awareness raising and forms of bringing a policy demand to governments/institutions.
We want governments to ask Israel to stop the ethnic cleansing but these words are not enough. Holding Israeli apartheid to account is urgent and overdue.
Please ensure your actions include:
- Demands to your government to push for an a UN investigation of Israeli apartheid and the reactivation of its mechanisms to end apartheid.
- Demands to your government to stop complicity with and defund Israeli apartheid and enforce basic accountability mechanisms and targeted sanctions, such as an end to military and security relations or a ban on trade with the illegal settlements.
- Actions to strengthen BDS campaigns to pressure corporations and institutions to stop legitimizing or enabling Israeli apartheid policies.
Please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(2) Register your activity in the World Tour calendar
That’s easy. Just register here.
(3) Masafer Yatta World Tour logo and graphics
Please use the World Tour logo available here:
Use the hashtags:
(4) Help in the promotion
Please share the news about the World Tour as it is unfolding in your social media and among your contacts.
Defend Masafer Yatta Resources
(1) Ensure that all those complicit in Israel’s ethnic cleansing policies in Masafar Yatta and elsewhere in Palestine are held accountable:
Read the BDS campaigning guide on Masafer Yatta and join the campaign to pressure Hyundai Heavy Industries to end its complicity with apartheid.
Join and support one of the other BDS campaigns that target companies directly involved in the colonization of Palestinian land – this can be:
- the BoycottHP campaign against the company’s role in providing the digital backbone for Israeli apartheid and military occupation,
- the BoycottPuma campaign against the sports equipment manufacturer’s sponsorship of the Israel Football Association (IFA), which includes teams in Israel’s illegal settlements on occupied Palestinian land,
- the AxaDivest campaign to pressure the insurance giant to cut its investments in Israeli banks and corporations that provide concrete assistance to Israel’s illegal policies of settlements, ethnic cleansing and annexation,
- the campaign against Israel’s greenwashing and efforts to hold agri-business such as Mekorot, Netafim. Haifa Chemicals and the Jewish National Fund accountable.
(2) Are you based in the US? Write to your representatives in parliament and government:
Please demand they pressure Israel to stop the ethnic cleansing in Masafar Yatta and elsewhere. Words of condemnation have proven ineffective.
Please ask for clear and effective accountability measures, such as a military embargo, a ban on settlement products or an end to normalization and diplomatic relations. Ask them to demand a UN investigation of Israeli apartheid.
If you are in the US, you can join the AJP action appeal.