Last updated: 22 June, 2012

Hundreds protest at Palestinian hamlet set for razing

Hundreds of Palestinians and peace activists on Friday held a protest at the West Bank village Susiya, which Israel has recently served demolition orders.

An AFP correspondent said over 500 people demonstrated at the site, located in the southernmost part of the West Bank, carrying signs against the evacuation and demolition of the 50 structures comprising the hamlet.

The Israeli army and border police were present in large numbers, the correspondent reported, adding there were minor clashes between the sides.

However, there were no injuries caused or no arrests were made.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said that “500 Palestinians and rioters gathered near Susiya. Once they started approaching (the nearby Israeli settlement also named) Susiya, soldiers used riot dispersal means.”

She added that to the best of her knowledge, nobody was wounded or arrested.

A spokesman for Israel’s Civil Administration, the military body that governs areas of the West Bank under full Israeli control, said residents of Susiya hamlet had received the demolition orders last week.

The orders were the result of a petition by the right-wing Regavim organisation to the Supreme Court, which argued the structures were built without a permit and therefore illegal.

Permits for Palestinians to build in the West Bank are extremely rare and the Israeli authorities routinely issue demolition orders for houses and other structures built without their approval.

The spokesman noted the court had afforded the residents two weeks to appeal the decision.

“The demolition will take place only after the court decrees on the case,” he said.