The Phuket News Premier League predictions The Phuket News Kata Rocks The Phuket News
The Phuket News World News
The Phuket News Phuket | Thailand | World | Business | Q&A | Weird World XML, RSS, Feed
The Phuket News The Phuket News
The Phuket News

Palestinian villagers in legal limbo

PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES: A tiny Palestinian village in the Hebron hills could soon cease to exist after a nine-year legal battle with Israeli authorities who say its 167 residents live on an archaeological site.

politics, construction, land,


AFP

Sunday 4 September 2016, 10:00AM


Palestinian children look out from a window in the Palestinian village of Khirbet Zanuta, located in the hills south of the West Bank city of Hebron. Photo: Hazem Bader/AFP
Palestinian children look out from a window in the Palestinian village of Khirbet Zanuta, located in the hills south of the West Bank city of Hebron. Photo: Hazem Bader/AFP

Israel’s supreme court is expected to make a final decision on the fate of Khirbet Zanuta soon.

The village in the south of the occupied West Bank, around 20 kilometres from the Israeli city of Beersheba, includes makeshift homes made of stones, metal, clay and even tyres.

Caves in the area have also been used as homes in the past, and its residents farm the hundreds of hectares of surrounding land, raising sheep and goats.

“I was born here before 1967,” said village head Rashad al-Tal, 65, referring to the year when Israel’s occupation of the West Bank began.

“We lived in a cave and we walked seven kilometres to go to school in Dahriya,” the closest city, he added as his daughter stirred milk behind him to make curd.

He said villagers began to build houses in the 1970s without having permits from the Israeli authorities and were fined for doing so.

Such permits are extremely difficult to obtain for Palestinians living in most of the West Bank.

“We showed them all the ownership papers for our land and asked for construction permits,” said Tal.

While Israeli authorities say structures in the village are illegal and are built on an archaeological site, the villagers themselves suspect other motives.

They allege that Israel wants to clear more space for settlers, since a settlement industrial zone called Meitarim is located less than a kilometre away.

Villagers say explosives were used to develop the industrial zone and question why this would have been done if the nearby area was archaeologically important.

Khirbet Zanuta is in what is known as Area C, the part of the West Bank under complete Israeli control.

Around 60 per cent of the Palestinian territory falls under that classification, originally set up under the 1990s Oslo accords in an arrangement meant to be temporary.

Israel’s military decides on construction permits in Area C, and they are rarely granted to Palestinians. The military demolishes structures it deems illegal.

That process, along with Israel’s continuous settlement building in the West Bank, has been strongly criticised internationally as contributing to the erosion of the possibility of a two-state solution.

QSI International School Phuket

The court case involving Khirbet Zanuta is reaching its conclusion as debate over Israeli demolitions of Palestinian structures in the West Bank intensifies.

In 2015, Israel demolished 548 structures in the West Bank, displacing 787 Palestinians, according to UN figures.

But during the first four months of this year alone, 598 were demolished, displacing 858 people.

The legal battle over Khirbet Zanuta has been waged since 2007. With the two sides unable to settle, Israel’s supreme court is expected to issue a ruling soon.

Israeli authorities have said in court filings that “Khirbet Zanuta is an archaeological site and residents’ presence in the area can have an impact on the site.

“As a result, they must leave the area.”

Israeli authorities declined further comment when contacted, saying their case was being presented in court.

Rights activists who support the villagers and their legal battle say claims about the area’s importance as an archaeological site are exaggerated.

“We have consulted Israeli archaeological experts who say that the presence of the residents does not interfere with that of the historical remains,” said Sharona Eliahu-Chai of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel.

Yoni Mizrachi of the Emek Shaveh NGO said that “every West Bank village contains remains”, adding that those in Khirbet Zanuta are “neither very important nor very extensive”.

“This is a political issue,” he said. “When they want to expel residents, they say that it is an archaeological site.”

Mizrachi said the village does indeed contain remains dating to the Iron Age and spanning the Roman, Byzantine and Islamic periods.

But he also alleged that there have been no excavations there since it was declared an archaeological site in 1968, while arguing that in any case the remains “do not belong to Israel, but to Palestine”.

Others have pointed out that Jewish construction is allowed on much more important archaeological sites.

 

 

The Phuket News
The Phuket News
Comment on this story
* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.
Comments Here:

Comments Left: Characters
Username:
Password:
E-mail: (No Hotmail, Live, MSN and Outlook accepted at this time)
Security:
   => Forget password?

Be the first to comment.

The Phuket News
The Phuket News The Phuket News The Phuket News
The Phuket News
Share this
The Phuket News
Have a news tip-off? Click here
The Phuket News
Related stories
The Phuket News
Phuket community

Recent Comments


Thai Navy commander in Phuket as air fighters, weapons firing mark exercise

It's now a helicopter carrier, built in Spain, commissioned in 1997. Just carry 6 helicopters only. No functioning anti-aircraft defense system. ...(Read More)


Woman loses leg in Phuket road accident

God bless. may she make a good recovery. So sad everytime a young person is hurt or killed by the bloody stupid driving here on Phuket. Another life r...(Read More)


Woman loses leg in Phuket road accident

Look on the pics, that the car is standing of the road. The driver cant move the pick up around with a Joy hanging on to rear bumper....(Read More)


Woman loses leg in Phuket road accident

I was at the scene. ms. Joy, was travelling with more than 90 km an hour. Her boyfriend was just coming after her in the speed, but luckily he had mo...(Read More)


Woman loses leg in Phuket road accident

I cant count the fatal accidents i see with my own eyes in the past 20 years I am living in Phuket. With 20 to 21.000 DEAD People in Road accidents ...(Read More)


Woman loses leg in Phuket road accident

Rather sad for Joy, but I cannot understand how she could hit the back of the pickup if he was making a right hand turn. Would happen if he was making...(Read More)


Woman loses leg in Phuket road accident

If this was happening at 'junction' Chaofa West rd/entrance Tesco Lotus, that is really a dangerous adventure to turn in and out over there A...(Read More)



Phuket shopping mall clothes shop gutted by fire

If you read the article it states, "...police believe that the fire was caused by an electrical short circuit."...(Read More)


Attempted murder rap for Facebook streamer

At the time of the offence the offender was under the influence of drugs, so in law he cannot be mentally retarded. If as alleged she was assaulted 6 ...(Read More)

The Phuket News
PHUKET NEWS
Phuket
Thailand
World
Business
Q A
Weird World
ARCHIVE
POLL
CURRENCY
WEATHER
PHUKET TIDE TABLE
The Phuket News PHUKET LIFE
Phuket Arts
Phuket Community
Phuket Culture
Phuket Dining
Phuket Education
Phuket Entertainment
Phuket Environment
Phuket Health
Phuket People
Phuket Technology
Phuket Travel
World Entertainment
Photo Galleries
The Phuket News PHUKET SPORT
Phuket
Thailand
World
SURF REPORT
PREDICTIONS
The Phuket News PHUKET CLASSIFIEDS
Phuket Buy and Sell
Phuket Jobs
Phuket Property
Phuket Cars and Boats
Phuket Community
Phuket Services
SEARCH CLASSIFIEDS
POST CLASSIFIED
The Phuket News The Phuket News PHUKET EVENTS
Phuket Event listings
Phuket Event calendar
Buy Tickets
POST EVENT
The Phuket News PHUKET DIRECTORY
Phuket Bars, pubs and clubs
Phuket Hotels and villas
Phuket Restaurants
Phuket Yellow Pages
POST LISTING
The Phuket News BARGAINS
The Phuket News ABOUT US
The Company
Distribution points
Subscribe
Advertise with us
Pay for advert
Contact us
CONTESTS
Content Google Map
Site map
Australian Visa Services
 
Currency - The Phuket News   Weather Report - The Phuket News   Surf Report - The Phuket News
LinkedIn - The Phuket News   Twitter - The Phuket News   YouTube - The Phuket News   Facebook - The Phuket News
Copyright © 2018 Class Act Media. All rights reserved. | Website usage terms and conditions | Privacy and Confidentiality Statement.