Sunday, November 12 2023 Susiya, November 2-3, 2023

*Text by David Shulman, photographs by Margaret Olin and David Shulman*

“Last week two gangs of settlers, armed with submachine guns, pistols, and butcher knives, their faces masked, invaded Susiya at two main points: the homes of Nasser and ‘Azzam in the center of the village, and the somewhat more isolated home of Ahmad Ja‘abar down in the wadi. These were large bands of twenty or more, many of them adolescents, probably from the host of illegal outposts, carrying weapons they had not been trained to fire (hence all the more frightening). According to ‘Azzam, they came three times into the village center, screaming threats and curses, beating anyone they could find, breaking what was breakable, including windows and doors, stealing property. In the midst of this rampage, they proudly announced: “We are returning to our land.” They informed the Palestinians that they had 24 hours to flee for their lives; if they remained in their homes, they would all be killed. This is now the settlers’ standard formula, announced at every hamlet they attack (the attacks are clearly synchronized). A particularly awful settler raid took place on October 29th at Umm al-Khair. The men were isolated from the women and children, mocked and humiliated, forced at gunpoint to sit with their faces to a wall while all data on their phones was erased, and repeatedly threatened with death.”

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