Israeli Apartheid, the Supreme Court, and Land Confiscation: The Case of Masafer Yatta
Wednesday, March 9, 2022
featuring Ali Awad (writer & activist from Tuba, Masafer Yatta) and Maya Rosen (Jerusalem-based activist) with Dr. Sarah Anne Minkin (FMEP)
On March 15, 2022, the Israeli Supreme Court is expected to render a decision on whether the state of Israel will be permitted to carry out a large expulsion of Palestinians in the West Bank. The Palestinians in question live in an area of the South Hebron Hills called Masafer Yatta, residing for many generations in small, shepherding-based villages. In the early 1980s, in violation of international law, the IDF declared the area a firing zone (“Firing Zone 918”) — an action viewed by experts as taken with the clear Israeli objective of displacing the Palestinian residents of the area and taking control of the land. Consistent with that analysis, for decades, Palestinians living in Masafer Yatta have faced constant threat of expulsion, home demolitions, confiscation of their property, harassment and violence at the hands of both the Israeli army and Israeli settlers.
Ali Awad, a writer and activist from Tuba in Masafer Yatta and Maya Rosen, a Jerusalem-based Palestine solidarity activist, join FMEP’s Sarah Anne Minkin for a discussion of how Palestinians in Masafer Yatta continue to build their lives despite the constant existential threat they are under such threat, what they expect from the Israeli Supreme Court, and the international campaign they have launched to save their villages. We’ll also discuss the role of the Israeli judiciary in enabling Israeli apartheid and Israel’s use of the “firing zone” designation as a means of confiscating Palestinian land.
Ali Awad is a writer and activist from the village of Tuba in the South Hebron Hills.
Maya Rosen is a graduate student studying history at the Hebrew University. She lives in Jerusalem and is a Palestine solidarity activist.
Sarah Anne Minkin, PhD, is FMEP’s Director of Programs & Partnerships.
Resources shared in the webinar:
- Follow Ali on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Ali_awad1998
- Follow Sarah Anne on Twitter: https://twitter.com/saminkin
Read Ali’s writing:
- Ali’s article archive on +972: https://www.972mag.com/writer/ali-awad/
- Ali Awad in Haaretz: “Opinion | For 17 Years, Stone-throwing Settlers Have Terrorized Palestinian Children. I Was One of Them” – https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-for-17-years-settlers-have-terrorized-palestinian-children-i-was-one-of-them-1.10292655
- Ali in Haaretz: Opinion | Why Israeli Settlers Are Targeting Palestinian Kids’ Playgrounds – https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium.HIGHLIGHT-palestinians-israel-settlers-idf-violence-west-bank-1.10516297
- January 2021 FMEP podcast with Ali: “‘We don’t have another place to go’: Dispossession, Settler Violence, and Resistance in Masafer Yatta” – https://fmep.org/resource/we-dont-have-another-place-to-go-threats-settler-violence-and-resistance-in-masafer-yatta/
About Masafer Yatta + the Save Masafer Yatta campaign:
- Save Masafer Yatta: https://savemasaferyatta.com/en/
- “Portraits of Resistance in Masafer Yatta,” published in Jewish Currents with an introduction from Maya Rosen https://jewishcurrents.org/portraits-of-resistance-in-masafer-yatta
- ACRI’s most updated explainer, “Prevent Expulsion of Palestinians from Hebron Hills” – https://www.english.acri.org.il/post/__205
- B’Tselem: “Firing Zone 918” – https://www.btselem.org/publications/fulltext/918
- B’Tselem’s map of the South Hebron Hills which shows the Firing Zone: https://www.btselem.org/download/southern_hebron_hills_map_eng.pdf
- +972 Archives on Firing Zone 918: https://www.972mag.com/topic/firing-zone-918/
- +972 South Hebron Hills archive: https://www.972mag.com/topic/south-hebron-hills/
- Akevot: “Document exposed by Akevot: Ariel Sharon instructed IDF to create training zone to displace Palestinians” – https://www.akevot.org.il/en/news-item/document-revealed-by-akevot-ariel-sharon-instructed-idf-to-create-training-zone-to-displace-palestinians/
- Info Sheet from ACRI, “The 12 Villages of Firing Zone 918 in the South Hebron Hills” – https://law.acri.org.il/en/2016/02/21/firing-zone-918-infosheet/
- Al Haq: “Virtual Field Visit: Firing Zone 918” – https://www.alhaq.org/advocacy/6684.html
On Israel’s use of Firing Zones:
- Kerem Navot’s “A Locked Garden: Declaration of Closed Areas in the West Bank” – https://www.keremnavot.org/a-locked-garden
- OCHA on the humanitarian impact of firing zones: https://www.ochaopt.org/sites/default/files/ocha_opt_firing_zone_factsheet_august_2012_english.pdf
- “Life in a Jordan Valley firing zone” (Al Jazeera) – https://www.aljazeera.com/gallery/2016/10/1/life-in-a-jordan-valley-firing-zone
- Moving Nowhere: Firing Zones and Forcible Transfer in the Jordan Valley → https://reliefweb.int/report/occupied-palestinian-territory/moving-nowhere-firing-zones-and-forcible-transfer-jordan
- Sealed Off and Forgotten: What You Should Know about Israel’s ‘Firing Zones’ in the West Bank (Middle East Monitor) – https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200113-sealed-off-and-forgotten-what-you-should-know-about-israels-firing-zones-in-the-west-bank/
- “When Home became a military firing zone” (DCI-P) – https://www.dci-palestine.org/when_home_becomes_an_israeli_military_firing_zone
- “Israel displaces 11 Palestinian families in Jordan Valley” – due to military drills (Al Monitor) – https://www.al-monitor.com/originals/2021/07/israel-displaces-11-palestinian-families-jordan-valley#ixzz7N3r4vjas
- Israel again tears down contested Palestinian hamlet in Jordan Valley (Times of Israel) – https://www.timesofisrael.com/israel-again-tears-down-contested-palestinian-hamlet-in-jordan-valley/
Settlements in Firing Zones:
- IDF Earmarking West Bank Firing Zones for Settler Expansion, Figures Show (Haaretz) – https://www.haaretz.com/.premium-idf-eyes-w-bank-firing-zones-for-settlers-1.5342902
- IDF Cancels Status of Firing Zone to Enable Expansion of Nearby Settlement (Haaretz) – https://www.haaretz.com/.premium-idf-cancels-firing-zone-to-expand-settlement-1.5333505
The recent FMEP webinar on state-backed settler violence: “Apartheid & Dispossession: Views from the West Bank” – with Eid and Basel al-Adraa from Masafer Yatta – https://fmep.org/resource/apartheid-dispossession-views-from-the-west-bank/
B’Tselem: “The Supreme Court of the Occupation” – https://www.btselem.org/supreme_court_of_occupation