Palestinians accosted right-wing politicians who had stopped on the outskirts of the unauthorized Arab village of Sussiya, during a tour of the South Hebron Hills on Monday.Both groups had flags with them. For a brief time, large Israeli and Palestinians flags fluttered next to each other under the hot afternoon sun, while activists and politicians from both groups argued and at times chanted.“Free, free Palestine,” yelled out the Palestinian residents of Sussiya. “The Jewish people live - Am Yisrael Chai,” the Israeli activists shouted back. They also sang briefly, “we have brought peace to you - Hevenu Shalom Aleichem.”The co-chairs of the Land for Israel Caucus, MK Yoav Kisch (Likud) and Bezalel Smotrich (Bayit Yehudi) had brought a group of activists and settlers to the area, to learn more about illegal Palestinian construction and to visit the nearby archeological site, which houses the remains of an ancient synagogue and Jewish city that had existed there from the fourth to 9th centuries.The fate of the unauthorized herding village is now in the hands of the High Court of Justice, which is weighing the question of whether or not to relocate or authorize the herding village of some 100 tents and shacks. The case is on hold until November 15th. It is unclear, however, if the state can in the interim move to demolish some 30 structures at the site.
Smotrich told the group that was there that the United States had interfered in the matter and had pressured Israel not to demolish the homes.Along with the Palestinians who broke up the discussion was Israeli activist Rabbi Arik Ascherman, who now heads the left-wing organization Khakel. He told the right-wing group that razing the village was against international law.Yigal Dilmoni, the deputy-head of the Council of Jewish Communities of Judea and Samaria accused Ascherman of helping people break the law.“Israeli law, not international law, is what applies here. The homes here have to be demolished,” Dilmoni said.“How can you break Israeli law? How can you defend these people? They can build in Areas A and B, they should move there,” Dilmoni said.Ascherman noted that the issue was still under adjudication.“We have the right to build within the borders of the state, but not here,” Ascherman said.
Right-wing activists and Palestinians clash at Sussiya.