The European Union has criticised Israeli plans to demolish a Palestinian village in the West Bank which has been supported by British money.
Khirbet Susiya, a community of 350 people in the South Hebron Hills, is wedged between two Jewish settlements and villagers have now been told by the Israeli military to prepare to leave their homes.
The Israeli government has said the village is “illegal” although it is located on agricultural land owned by Palestinians. The villagers were expelled from their original site in 1986 and were again moved on in 2001.
Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai has now told residents that demolition orders will be carried out in the coming days, despite widespread opposition and condemnation from Europe and the United States.
Most of the families live in temporary shelters and survive on sheep farming, bee-keeping and selling embroidered goods.
Alistair McPhail, the British consulate-general in Jerusalem, last month said: “Demonstrations and evictions of entire communities cause great suffering to ordinary Palestinians and are harmful to the peace process.”
Interior Minister Silvan Shalom said: “It’s not something we do with Palestinians only… If the Supreme Court has authorised it, it’s something we should do.”