Susya is a small Palestinian village in the West Bank, parts of which have been repeatedly demolished by the Israeli government. That has emerged again in recent weeks, amidst reports that the Israeli Defense Ministry this week plans to ask Israel’s High Court of Justice for permission to demolish Susya within the next two months. J Street has actively opposed Susya’s demolition in the past and urged the State Department to ensure that it does not go forward.
Susya’s demolition would have broad implications for a two-state solution. Right now, the Israeli government is engaged in a process of “creeping annexation” of Area C of the West Bank, which, if successful, would be a significant stumbling block on the path to peace. The Israeli government accomplishes this in part by demolishing Palestinian villages to make way for more settlements. Moreover, Susya has become a symbol in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and its demolition would further undermine confidence in Israel’s commitment to peace.
That’s why the destruction of Susya would leave more than a village in shambles — and why we’re working not just to save Susya, but to preserve the two-state solution.
In 2015, the last time Susya faced threats of demolition, we called on the State Department to make clear that demolishing Susya would be unacceptable. Following our call to action, the State Department publicized their opposition to Susya’s demolition. Shortly afterwards, Israel announced that the decision would be postponed, with the High Court eventually ruling that Israel would need to make a decision by October 1, 2017. As we approach the deadline, we have to ensure that the US reaffirms its opposition to settlement expansion and Palestinian dispossession by standing up for Susya.