“We’ll Build Our Own Outpost”
Saturday, residents of Susiya, a small community in the South Hebron Hills, were joined by members of Combatants for Peace and Ta’ayush, along with other international and Israeli activists, in an attempt to build their own structure next to a newly-constructed building on their privately owned land which was placed there by a group of right-wing ideological settlers from the Susiya settlement. More than 200 Palestinians, Israelis, and internationals marched from Susiya, carrying metal poles and material in the colors of the Palestinian flag.
The symbolic action was meant to illustrate the disparity between the treatment of Palestinians and Israeli settlers in the same area. When the activists began putting together the temporary structure, Israeli soldiers and border police almost immediately ordered the area a closed military zone, though they did nothing to remove the group of approximately 20 settlers who had gathered on the hilltop. The structure was erected for only a few moments before soldiers rushed the group, tearing down the structure and grabbing several activists, though they were not arrested.
Corresponding with a widely-televised speech by American President Barack Obama in which he emphasized the need for the removal of illegal outposts, activists and Palestinian residents demonstrated on Saturday that while the Israeli military certainly has the means to demolish the structures, they only have the will to destroy those which are constructed by the legal owners of the land: Palestinians.