Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif) today released the following statement on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to delay action on Susiya until December 13, 2016.
Over the past year, Senator Feinstein has traded letters with Prime Minister Netanyahu on this issue.
- Senator Feinstein’s letter, July 28, 2015
- Prime Minister Netanyahu’s response, August 11, 2015
- Senator Feinstein’s letter, October 2, 2015
- Prime Minister Netanyahu’s response, November 25, 2015
- Senator Feinstein’s letter, June 28, 2016
- Prime Minister Netanyahu’s response, August 23, 2016
“I welcome Prime Minister Netanyahu’s decision to delay action on Susiya, a small village on private Palestinian land in the South Hebron Hills. It would be outrageous if Israel where to demolish these homes when the villagers have claims to their land dating back to the Ottoman Empire, ownership that has never been challenged by the government. I encourage the prime minister to take action before December 13 to prevent this from happening.
“Over the past two years I’ve met with several families that live in Susiya or in the nearby village of Umm al-Kheir. These families don’t have much and live a hard life. They have no running water or electricity and are sustained primarily by international donations and subsistence farming.
“Today I’m releasing correspondence with Prime Minister Netanyahu in the hope that he will carefully consider Susiya’s fate. I fear that a decision to demolish the village and remove families from their own land will be judged as utterly inconsistent with Israel’s core values. If Israel retains a desire to be a Jewish, democratic state, it must treat Palestinians with the same dignity and human rights as Israel’s citizens.
“Instead of demolishing Susiya, the prime minister could direct the Israeli Civil Administration to revisit and approve the village’s professionally developed master plan. Doing so will allow these people to continue to live and prosper on their own land.”