Campaign for abolition of 'Firing Zone 918' in South Hebron Hills
  • Petitioning Benjamin Netanyahu

This petition will be delivered to:

Israel Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu
Israel Ministry of Defense
Moshe Ya'alon
Military Judge Advocate General
Brigadier General Danny Efroni

Campaign for abolition of 'Firing Zone 918' in South Hebron Hills

    1. Petition by

      South Hebron Popular Committee

In the southern West Bank (oPt), in the South Hebron Hills, there exists an area called Masafer Yatta. The area encompasses twelve Palestinian villages and some 1000 inhabitants: Tuba, al-Mufaqarah, Isfey, Maghayir al Abeed, al-Majaz, at-Tabban, al-Fakheit, Halaweh, Mirkez, Jinba, Kharoubeh and Sarura. According to the Oslo peace process, this is Area C, which means that it is under civil and military Israeli Administration. In the early 1970s, Israel declared the area a ‘closed military area’, called ‘Firing Zone 918’.
In 1999 Israeli military forces, accompanied by civil Administration officials, expelled the residents. Against the expulsion, the inhabitants petitioned the Israeli High Court of Justice that issued a temporary injunction allowing people to return to their houses and forbidding the state to expel them pending a final decision. Notwithstanding, life for Palestinian communities in the area worsened because of the destruction of private properties during the eviction, the expansion of settlements, and the ongoing violence of settlers. Moreover, the military and civil Administration carried out demolition orders and delivered stop working orders, preventing the construction of new houses and the renovation of the old ones.
In April 2012 the Israeli Court resumed their deliberation of the case. On the 19th of July 2012 the state, following Ministry of Defense instructions, submitted a detailed notification to the Court in which it claimed that the petitioners are not “permanent residents” of the firing zone area and hence have no right to live there. On the 7th of August 2012 the Court decided that the state's announcement constituted “a change in the normative situation” and as a consequence the specific petitions “were no longer relevant” and so dismissed. Therefore a new petition will be submitted by the lawyers of the Palestinians on the 16th of December to the High Court of Justice. If the Court rejects the inhabitants’ petition eight of the twelve villages could be evicted.
In this case the Israeli authorities could take decisions which would be against International Common Law. Israel claimed that after the end of the II Lebanon War (2006) security levels increased and, as a consequence, troops needed to return to regular training: that meant the necessity for more firing zones, including the one in the Masafer Yatta area.
However, the Israeli military requirement has no direct relation with the occupation because it refers to IDF general trainings; and as such, according to international law, it is not a 'military need'. This means that the measures that could be taken would be unlawful because they are not permitted under the Hague Regulations and would constitute grave breaches of the IV Geneva Convention. According to international law, 'military general training' cannot for any reason be considered as a military need.
Moreover if a firing zone for general military training is established, according to International Humanitarian Law (IHL), it would not justify expropriations or movement restrictions in the twelve villages. Article 46 of the Hague Declaration states that private property must be respected and it cannot be confiscated. Also, destruction of private property for the establishment of a firing zone, intended for military trainings, cannot be justified because it does not constitute a military need. Under these circumstances, the expected destruction of the villages with the purpose of using Firing Zone 918 would constitute a clear violation of art. 53 of the IV Geneva Convention and would amount to a grave breach according to art. 147. Finally, in the matter of prohibition of forcible transfer, IHL does not differentiate between permanent and non-permanent residents as Israeli legislation does. Forcibly displacing any of the inhabitants or any community of the twelve villages (either for general military trainings or for the lack of building permits) is a violation of art. 49 of the IV Geneva Convention and constitutes another grave breach of art. 147. According to UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA), since 1967 Israel has designated about 18% of the West Bank as a closed military zone for the purposes of military training (not including the closed military areas around Israeli settlements, and all the lands located between the Barrier and the Green Line, etc.), making the areas effectively off-limits to Palestinians.
Firing Zone 918 violates basic human rights. Its abolition would be a step toward promoting access by Palestinian inhabitants of the area to:
• the right to a dignified life;
• the freedom of movement;
• the right to private property;
• the right to education;
• the right to work;
• the right to medical care;
• the freedom of worship.

Given these circumstances, we strongly demand:
• the refusal of the Ministry of Defense request to evict the area;
• the abolition of Firing Zone 918;
• the respect for the rights and dignity of Palestinian communities in the South Hebron Hills.

Recent signatures

    News

    1. AICafe on Saturday 7 September, for No to Firing Zone 918!

      An in-depth discussion about the struggle against South Hebron Hills' Firing Zone 918 with Hafez Hourani.
      http://www.alternativenews.org/english/index.php/aicafe/6993-aicafe-7-september-2013

      AICafe 7 September 2013

      Please join us at the AICafe on Saturday 7 September 2013 from 7.30 p.m. for No to Firing Zone 918! An in-depth discussion about the struggle against South Hebron Hills' Firing Zone 918 with Hafez Hourani.

    2. World’s literary stars sign the petition against the eviction

      Dozens of the world’s literary stars have added their names to an Israeli writers’ petition urging the army and the Netanyahu government not to destroy Palestinian villages in the southern Hebron hills.
      http://nofiringzone918.org/2013/09/05/haaretz-worlds-literary-stars-sign-israeli-petition-against-destruction-of-palestinian-villages/

    3. Israel's High Court sends South Hebron Hills evictions to mediation

      Israel’s High Court of Justice referred to mediation a petition against the eviction of dozens of West Bank Palestinian families to make room for a military training area in the West Bank on Monday, pending the State’s acquiescence to the suggestion.
      http://972mag.com/israels-high-court-sends-south-hebron-hills-evictions-to-mediation/78324/

    4. Life before expulsion in the South Hebron Hills

      Monday, the Israeli High Court of Justice heard the case of eight Palestinian villages that the Israeli government plans to displace in favor of a live-fire military training area known as “Firing Zone 918″.
      http://972mag.com/photos-life-before-expulsion-in-the-south-hebron-hills/78352/

    5. State responds to two High Court petitions to stop planned evacuation

      Incredible Israeli State responds to two High Court petitions to stop planned evacuation: eviction of 1,300 Palestinians necessary to save IDF time and money
      http://nofiringzone918.org/2013/08/01/israel-eviction-of-1300-palestinians-necessary-to-save-idf-time-money/

    6. Hearing adjourned until September 2, 2013

      The 29th of July 2013 was the extended deadline the High Court of Justice had agreed for the State’s response to ACRI and Shlomo Lecker’s petition. In April, the State asked for a 90 days extension to file their full response as the factual and legal arguments were complicated and involved a large amount of information. The scheduled hearing was on July 15, when the State asked for a further extension. The hearing has now been adjourned until the 2nd of September 2013.

      http://nofiringzone918.org/

    7. Reached 1,500 signatures
    8. 3 News from the villages of the FiringZone918

      Settlers attack Palestinian shepherd near Mitzpe Yair outpost

      Army helicopters fly very low on the village of Al Fakheit

      Hearing of the Supreme Court postponed after the State’s failure in responding to the petitioners

      You can find all the news on http://nofiringzone918.org/

    9. Israeli authors campaign against eviction of West Bank villagers

      Some of the most celebrated figures in Israeli literature are campaigning to stop the forcible eviction of Palestinian communities in the barren hills of the southern West Bank to clear land for an Israeli military firing zone.

      Twenty four authors – including the acclaimed triumvirate of David Grossman, Amos Oz and AB Yehoshua – have put their names to an appeal to save the villages of the South Hebron hills.

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/25/israeli-authors-campaign-west-bank-villagers

      Israeli authors campaign against eviction of West Bank villagers

      Some of the most celebrated figures in Israeli literature are campaigning to stop the forcible eviction of Palestinian communities in the barren hills of the southern West Bank to clear land for an Israeli military firing zone.

    10. SOLIDARITY MARCH IN THE SOUTH HEBRON HILLS (some more info)

      WHAT TO BRING
      Lunch
      Drinking water
      Sun hat
      Strong shoes
      Drums and other musical instruments
      Flags, banners, etc.

      ORGANIZERS
      South Hebron Hills Popular Struggle Committee
      The Freedom Theatre’s Freedom Bus: www.thefreedomtheatre.org | www.freedombus.ps
      MARCH FREEDOM RIDE
      This solidarity walk concludes the March Freedom Ride. More at: http://www.facebook.com/events/529394713738231/

      FURTHER RESOURCES
      Al Mufaqarah R-Exist: http://almufaqarah.wordpress.com
      Firing Zone 918: http://www.btselem.org/south_hebron_hills/firing_zone_918
      Campaign for the abolition of "Firing Zone 918" in South Hebron Hills: http://nofiringzone918.org

      The Freedom Theatre | Generating Cultural Resistance

      The Freedom Theatre Acting School is proud to announce the opening of applications for actors for the commedia dell'arte workshop that will take place in Jenin from the 14th April to the 19th May. About Teatro Punto Teatro Punto is a theatre company under the artistic leadership of Carlos García Estévez and Katrien van Beurden.

    11. SOLIDARITY MARCH IN THE SOUTH HEBRON HILLS

      Join us on March 29th for a day of solidarity and protest against Israel’s ethnic cleansing campaign in the South Hebron Hills.
      Mufaqara, Tuba, a-Sfay, Maghayir al-Abeed and al-Fakhit are 5 of 12 communities located within "Firing Zone 918" – an area of occupied Palestine used by the Israeli Forces to prepare for military offensives against Palestinian people. All homes in these villages are faced with demolition. Each person is faced with forced expulsion from traditional homelands.
      On March 29th we will join with these communities - a people in a movement that has successfully resisted past attempts to colonize and militarize Palestinian lands.

      PROGRAM
      9:00am: Gather in At-Tuwani (Village Council hall)
      9:30am: Commence walk through Mufaqara, Tuba, a-Sfay and Maghayir al-Abeed
      3pm: Live music, dubke, interactive theatre in al-Fakhit
      5:30pm: Conclude event in At-Tuwani

      CONTACT
      Alia Alrosan

    12. B'Tselem on Firing Zone 918

      Firing Zone 918

      Over 1,000 people in the southern Hebron Hills will be expelled from their homes. People must know about this injustice. One thousand people cannot be left homeless! Please share

    13. Firing Zone 918 in the HUMANITARIAN MONITOR MONTHLY REPORT, December 2012

      Here a part of the HUMANITARIAN MONITOR MONTHLY REPORT, December 2012 by United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs occupied Palestinian territory.
      http://nofiringzone918.org/2013/02/15/vulnerable-communities-in-area-c-remain-dependent-on-humanitarian-assistance-firing-zone-918/

    14. Ha’aretz: Israel dismantles Arab tent communities in West Bank

      The Israeli authorities intend to dismantle the communities and concentrate the Bedouin, against their will, in two permanent neighborhoods near Jericho
      http://nofiringzone918.org/2013/02/05/haaretz-israel-dismantles-arab-tent-communities-in-west-bank-leaving-residents-to-face-the-elements/

    15. Reached 1,000 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • John Linscheid PHILADELPHIA, PA
      • 7 months ago

      Because I am against ethnic cleansing by any country and the forced expulsion of any people from their historic lands is reprehensible. All aspects of the occupation are illegal.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • maria ripamonti GORGONZOLA, ITALY
      • 8 months ago

      it is important to save the palestinian's earth

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • andreina siri SAVONA, ITALY
      • 8 months ago

      becouse i dream Palestinian people to be free

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • pilar castel TREVIGNANO ROMANO, ITALY
      • 8 months ago

      no arms

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Roxana Hart OAKLAND, CA
      • 8 months ago

      My Cherokee grandfather would understand completely the struggle of the Palestinian people for their land, their culture and their lives. The Israelis have taken a page right out of the 'playbook' from the Native American Indian experience. It was a violation of basic human rights then, and is shamefully repeated over and over and over again.

      OUT OF THE SOUTH HEBRON HILLS!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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