On the map?

Area C is the classification for 60% of the West Bank, which is under full Israeli control. It is largely made up of small Palestinian villages , Israeli settlements which are illegal under international law but funded by the Israeli government,and settler outposts – temporary dwellings which settlers hope that the Israeli government will convert into official settlements, but which are illegal under both international and Israeli law. Area C is also home to dispersed families of Bedouin and Felahkheen. While their life styles appear similar – tented dwellings and subsistence agriculture – there are differences in culture and lifestyle. Bedouins tend to be shepherds and are sometimes nomadic. Felahken keep sheep, hens, geese and turkeys, and grow a range of crops including wheat. Both groups live in clusters of families. 
Both groups have lived on their land for centuries but the Israeli government has declared their living structures to be illegal. Homes are not provided with services and the villages are not named or marked on official maps. Regular demolitions of homes take place in accordance with plans to relocate families to new towns: for example, in the South Hebron hills to the town of Yatta. Aid agencies have enabled the purchase of solar panels, windmills and wells. These are regularly demolished along with the living structures. Bulldozers arrive giving families 15 minutes to clear their belongings ( including cookers, fridges and TVs ). Afterwards structures will be rebuilt with EU and UN support – until the next time. In addition settlers frequently make group attacks on fields, livestock and people. One woman I met carries deep facial scars from a knife attack several years ago. Younger families now often choose to live in Yatta: this particular woman has 5 sons,who all moved there when they married though they often return. Indeed on my visit all the daughters in law were helping the harvest over a three week period. 
The village we visited is called Susiya and has been a focus of international concern regarding threatened demolition. But it doesn’t exist on the map. A settlement called Suseya is on the map. It too is illegal in the eyes of international law. But It is provided with water, electricity a security fence and military guards with a checkpoint. 

The welcome we received at every home in Susiya will remain in my memory for a long time. Taboon baked bread, cheese, olives, tomatoes and endless cups of Arabic coffee or mint tea. 
Human rights activists, both Palestinian and Israeli, maintain a constant effort to keep the struggles of these villages in the public eye. Meanwhile a project is aiming to record as much as possible of the life and culture for the almost inevitable day when these communities are wiped off the map for ever. 

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