Ta’ayush is a grassroots movement working to break down the walls of racism, segregation, and apartheid by constructing a true Arab-Jewish partnership. For more then a decade, Ta’ayush has been working in area C of the occupied Palestinian territories, especially in the South Hebron Hills, to support Palestinian residents in their struggle to retain their homes and agricultural lands. Palestinians in these areas face constant harassment and violence by Israeli settlers and the army, which aims to cleanse area C of its Palestinian population by compelling them to leave to areas B and A, and to seize its land for Israeli settlements. Preventing access to agricultural lands and water cisterns, house demolitions, setting fire to tents, and physical attacks are all common methods in the authorities’ and settlers’ attempts to push the Palestinian residents from their homes and towards the area’s urban centers, such as Yatta, Samua, Dura, and Dahariyya. A life of dire poverty, unemployment and distress awaits those Palestinian who are forced move to these cities.
In the past few months, In the past few months, we have witnessed an increase in the severity of official state policy as well as an escalation in the violence of individual soldiers, police, and Israeli settlers on the ground against Palestinians in the South Hebron Hills. Among other alarming measures:
In June, the Civil Administration (the branch of the Israeli army in charge of many aspects of the lives of the Palestinian civilian population) announced its intention to implement demolition orders against approximately 70 structures in the Palestinian community of Susya. If implemented, the orders will result in the actual demolition of an entire village and will effect hundreds of residents.
In July, Israeli defence minister Ehud Barak announced plans to demolish eight additonal communities in South Hebron Hills: Majaz, Taebban, Sfaye, Fahit, Halawa, Al Marqaz, Jinba, and Kharuba. The land where these villages stand will be used as a military training area. If implemented, these orders will render 1500 people homeless, and compel them to leave their lands and move to the urban centers outside of area C. Four additonal communities on the outskirts of the designated training zone, numbering 300 residents, will be completly deprived of all planing rights.It should be noted that the use of occupied territory for military training purposes is prohibited under international law. Fuller background on the firizng zone plan may be found here. The Israeli military is already taking mesaurs to intidmiate the residnets of the villages salted for demolition and went as far as landing soldiers in helicopters into Jinba to carry out a violent raid.
Harrasment and assaults against Palestinians and solidarity activists by soldiers and settlers have been taking place on an almost daily basis. These include damage to property and infrastructure, uprooting olive trees, preventing accsess to agricultural lands, arbitrary arrests, and physical assaults. A very partial list of recent attacks may be found here.
Taayush continues to stand in solidarity with the residents of South Hebron Hills. In the past few months we have accompanied farmers and shepherds to lands that they are unable access alone, including in some cases lands that have been avoided for years. our activists prevented the arrest of several Palestinian residents, among them children as young as nine; documented numerous assaults on Palestinians; and launched, along with other organizations, a public campaign against the demolition of Susya and the villages located inside the designated fire zone. As part of this campaign, hundreds of Israelis and Palestinians protested in the village against the demolitions, and thousands of Israelis appealed to the authorities to rescind the demolition orders.
This extensive activity relies on extremely limited financial resources. The cost of every day of activity is approximately $250 (€200); most of this sum goes to cover the cost of transportation. We also have considerable legal expenses stemming from the arrest and prosecution of activists by the Israeli state authorities. Seven Ta’ayush activitsts were arrested in recent months during activites (four of them for erasing a racist graffiti painted by settlers), one activist was recently convicted of calling an army officer “a war criminal”, and several other activists are also undergoing criminal proceedings.
Donations can be via bank deposit to:
Branch 574 (Hapalmach)
Account no. 160213
Swift code poalilit
You can also send checks by mail, payable to:
c/o Yehuda Agus, POB 360
Every donation, no matter how small, will help us continue our important work on the ground. Your donations will not be used to pay overhead, salaries, or administrative fees. Ta’ayush is an all-volunteer organization and contributions go directly to covering the costs of our activities and defending out activists in court.
In solidarity and gratitude,