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Israeli writers appeal against forced expulsion of villagers

June 26, 2013 5:36 P.M. (Updated: June 27, 2013 10:58 A.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Prominent Israeli writers visited the South Hebron Hills on Tuesday to draw attention to the plight of Palestinian villagers being threatened with displacement, an Israeli rights group said.

Zeruya Shalev, Eyal Megged, Sayed Kashua and Alona Kimhi visited the Palestinian village of Jinba, located in the closed military area of Firing Zone 918, to talk with villagers about the threats to their village, B'Tselem said.

Jinba is one of 12 villages located in 30,000 dunams of Palestinian land declared as a closed military area by Israel in 1999.

The majority of villagers have been issued with evacuation orders, and in November 1999 Israel forcibly evicted 700 people, according to the Association for Civil Rights in Israel.

In July, Israel's High Court of Justice will discuss a petition filed by villagers against orders to expel the rest of the villagers from their home.

There are over 1,300 Palestinians living in the area, with most having resided there long before Israel's occupation of the West Bank in 1967.

The Israeli writers are part of a group who signed an appeal entitled 'Help Save The Palestinian Villages in the South Hebron Hills,' which calls for the forced expulsion to be canceled.

"In a reality of ongoing occupation, of solid cynicism and meanness, each and every one of us bears the moral obligation to try and relieve the suffering, do something to bend back the occupation’s giant, cruel hand," the appeal read.

Alona Kimhi, one of the writers, said: "I know that no one is talking about 'the occupation' these days, it’s not part of the Israeli lexicon any more, but it exists. And I am visiting this place so I can tell people inside Israel what is being done in their name."

"If we can do something to somehow lessen the injustice that is being done here, if we can say something to gild the ugly face of Israeli society as it is reflected in the state’s actions here, I believe that we will already have done something," Eyal Megged added.
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