Masafer Yatta World Tour Dates
Efforts by Israeli apartheid to isolate Masafer Yatta and hide the announced expulsion of the over 1000 Palestinians, aren’t working out! Masafer Yatta has already gotten global attention.
Officials still stick to toothless criticism but powerful popular actions demand meaningful measures from governments and an end to corporate complicity. Let’s ensure the expulsion of the people in Masafer Yatta is effectively stopped.
Have you taken action on Masafer Yatta? Please send a photo/image and description to email@example.com so we can add it here and share it with the people in Masafer Yatta.
July 1, 2022
Click here to access the video.
Aug 2, 2022
The army has used the land as an active firing zone for years, putting the local communities there at risk. Now, with the backing of the Supreme Court, the army is seeking to completely rid the area of its Palestinian inhabitants. Rights groups say it’s an act that would amount to forcible transfer, a war crime under international law.
With no hope left in the Israeli legal system, the Palestinians in Masafer Yatta are appealing to the international community to help save their communities.
Click here to access the video.
Aotearoa (New Zealand)
6 August 2022
They have organized local rallies to Defend Masafer Yatta:
– Auckland: Saturday 6 August, 2pm, Aotea Square. Facebook event here
– New Plymouth: Saturday 6 August, 12 noon, Puke Ariki landing. Facebook event here
– Napier: Saturday 30 July, 11am at intersection Tennyson Street and Marine Parade, Napier. Facebook event here
– Nelson: Saturday 6 August at the Nelson Market, 10am to 12 noon. Facebook event here
– Christchurch: Saturday 6 August, 12 noon, Bridge of Remembrance, Cashel Street. Facebook event here.
PSNA has organized a webinar with speakers including Sami Hurraini, co-founder of Youth of Sumud (“steadfastness”) and Manal Shqair, International advocacy officer – Stop the Wall Campaign in Colonized Palestine.
THey have also collected messages of solidarity from a wide range of groups from Aotearoa New Zealand.
PSNA is also encouraging citizens to send a brief of support to the people in Masafer Yatta. (The messages will be translated in Arabic and forwarded to the people under threat of ethnic cleansing. Email you r message of support to firstname.lastname@example.org)
7 August 2022
And what does it mean for peace and justice in Palestine?
A webinar with:
– Aninka Claasens on Forced Removals in Apartheid South Africa
– Asher Kirchner, member of the National Steering Committee of Independent Jewish Voices, Canada woh recently returned from three months in Masafer Yatta
– Saleh Hijazi, BDS National Committee Africa coordinator, based in Palestine.
7 July, 2022
To know more about the issue, BDS Malaysia has organised a talk by: Dr. Feras Ali Qawasmeh from Vision Center for Political Development of Istanbul.
Watch the webinar on Facebook @bdsmovementmalaysia
You can watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=01bP1kLt118
PSC UK has also developed two letter writing tools to address MPs and the UK foreign office:
– Write to the Foreign Office: https://bit.ly/MasaferYatta
– Write to your MP: https://bit.ly/SaveMasafarYatta
6 July 2022
Watch this live streaming with Operazione Colomba and Youth of Sumud from Palestine here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7bmf_6E5wlc
On May 4, the Israeli Supreme Court ruled the expulsion from their homes and lands of the inhabitants of 8 Palestinian communities in Masafer Yatta.
From now on, the Israeli army can evacuate them and destroy their villages at any time. Dozens of families will have nowhere to go.
It is the responsibility of the international community to condemn and stop Israel from committing these crimes, which are war crimes under international law.
Watch the webinar here.
11 August 2022
– Samiha H, Palestinian activist based in Masafer Yatta
– Roshan D, convenor of the BDS Coalition, South Africa
– Prof Camalita N, professor of Historical Studies at Capetown University, writer and author
– Noor A, youth activist and co-ordinator of the Palestine Solidarity Alliance
12 July 2022
USPCR informed that supporters sent more than 2,000 emails to Congress to defend Masafer Yatta. USCPR added that, thanks to this grassroots pressure, 15 members of Congress signed on a new letter on 31 May, calling on the Secretary of State to stop the Israeli government’s destruction of Palestinian homes in this area.
London, UK (Amnesty International headquarters)
19 July 2022
“More than 1,000 Palestinians in Masafer Yatta, including around 500 children, are bracing themselves for the potential arrival of Israeli bulldozers that would demolish their homes, solar panels and animal pens. Going ahead with this large-scale expulsion would amount to an act of forcible transfer, which is a war crime and crime against humanity,” said Heba Morayef, Amnesty International’s Regional Middle East and North Africa Director.
“The imminent displacement of Palestinians from Masafer Yatta offers a stark reminder of the cruel strategy Israel has used for decades to maintain its cruel system of apartheid over Palestinians.”
Read the full statement
Jerusalem, UN OCHA OPT
In the 1980s, Israeli authorities designated a part of Masafer Yatta in the South Hebron Hills as ’Firing Zone 918’, a closed military zone. Since this declaration, residents have been at risk of forced eviction, demolition, and forcible transfer. The two villages of Khirbet Sarura and Kharoubeh no longer exist after their homes were demolished.
Approximately 20% of the West Bank has been designated as “Firing Zones”, affecting over 5,000 Palestinians from 38 communities.
Currently in Masafer Yatta, 215 Palestinian households live in the area, including about 1,150 people, of which 569 are children.
In 1999, the Israeli government issued eviction orders against approximately 700 Palestinian residents of Masafer Yatta for “illegally living in a firing zone”, as a result of which the Israeli military evicted by force most of them and destroyed or confiscated their homes and property. This eviction contradicted an existing Israeli military order, which stipulated that the restrictions regarding the firing zone would not be applied to existing residents of the area.
A few months later, the Israeli High Court of Justice (HCJ), in response to a petition filed on behalf of the residents, issued an interim injunction allowing most of the people to return, pending a final court decision. However, the existence of eviction orders left residents living under the constant threat of destruction of their properties and the risk of forcible transfer.
In a 2012 petition to the HCJ, the Israeli military reasserted its right to evict eight of the thirteen communities from the area, while offering them access to the land for cultivation and grazing only on weekends and Jewish holidays. Legal action, humanitarian aid and advocacy challenged this decision and provided temporary protection from forced eviction to the Palestinian residents of Masafer Yatta.
During an August 2020 court hearing, Israeli authorities argued that the Palestinian communities had not been permanent residents of the area when it was declared a firing zone, and therefore did not have the right to continue living in their homes.
In July 2020, a transcript was submitted to the court of a 1981 hearing in which the then Minister of Agriculture instructed Israeli Forces to create training zones in the area to displace the Palestinian residents.
In parallel, communities in Masafer Yatta have been subject to several waves of demolitions and demolition orders since 1999, including against villages outside the firing zone.
On 4 May 2022, the HCJ ruled that there were no legal barriers to the planned expulsion of Palestinian residents from Masafer Yatta to make way for military training, effectively placing them at imminent risk of forced evictions, arbitrary displacement, and forcible transfer.
Since the 4 May 2022 court ruling, Israeli authorities have increasingly intensified a coercive environment for Palestinians in Masafer Yatta:18 May: Israeli forces issued a military seizure order for the construction of a two-lane patrol road in the ‘Firing Zone’.
11 May and 1 June 2022: Dozens of Palestinians had their homes demolished in Khirbet Al Fakhiet and Mirkez. For some of them, the 1 June demolition was the third time to lose their homes in less than a year.
7 June: Israeli authorities issued demolition orders for all seven homes and most livelihood structures in Khirbet at Tabban.
10 June: Israeli forces went house to house in most communities to photograph residents’ faces and identification documents, raising fear among residents of increased restrictions on movement.
16 June: a day after it was announced that a military training exercise would take place in the area, additional demolition orders were issued for 20 structures in Khallet Athaba’.
20 June: A declaration delivered by Israeli Forces to the lawyers in Masafer Yatta indicated that the military training would take place for a period of 4 weeks.
21 June: A military training exercise began with the military placing targets close to inhabited residential areas within Masafer Yatta. Since military training began, there has been an increase in movement restrictions imposed on the community by Israeli Forces, even on days when training is not taking place
Geneva, UN Human Rights Council
16 May 2022
“A Court that does not provide justice based on international norms and that perpetuates the violations of fundamental human rights of people who have been under military occupation for 55 years, becomes itself part of the structural system of oppression.”
The experts further called on the international community to take steps to prevent the forcible transfer of the Masafer Yatta residents.
“The international community must not become complicit to this serious violation of international humanitarian and humanitarian laws by remaining silent: it must exert available diplomatic, political and economic measures prescribed by the UN Charter to bring Israeli violations to a halt,” said the experts.
Read their full appeal
Geneva, UN Human Rights Council
02 August 2022
“This is a direct assault on the core of human rights and international humanitarian law, and a serious violation of the right of human rights defenders to engage in their work. This also confirms that impunity over abuse of power fosters power to abuse.”
UN experts expressed particular concern for Sami Hureini, a prominent human rights defender and member of “Youth of Sumud”, an activist group engaged in peaceful resistance against illegal settlements in the southern Hebron hills.
Read the full statement.
10 May 2022
Settlement expansion, demolitions and evictions are illegal under international law. The EU condemns such possible plans and urges Israel to cease demolitions and evictions, in line with its obligations under international humanitarian and international human rights law. The establishment of a firing zone cannot be considered an “imperative military reason” to transfer the population under occupation.
Furthermore, the EU recalls that demolitions and evictions, forced transfers including of Bedouins, severely threaten the two-state solution and will only escalate an already tense environment from which no one can truly benefit and which only further deteriorates the situation on the ground for ordinary people on both sides.”