ON THE FRONTLINES: Khirbet Susiya an Ancient Jewish Village is Under Threat

Khirbet Susiya, also known as Horvat Susiya is an ancient Jewish landmark is the Southern Hebron Hills uncovered by archeologists in 1969 after the area was liberated by Israel.  In the years that followed, Khirbet Susiya has become a national landmark and proof that a solid Jewish existed throughout the Har Hebron Hills up until the Islamic invasion in the 8th Century.  The Jews of the area either converted to Islam or fled.

Now, this ancient landmark known for its oldest freestanding synagogue is under threat by Arab squatters from Yatta backed up by the EU and the United States State Department.  These squatters have amassed a following through the international community and have set up tents on the archeological site. The group from Yatta number around 350 people and claim Khirbet Susiya as their own. They claim the site of Khirbet Susiya is really theirs despite the overwhelming evidence for it being an ancient Jewish village.

“Surveys of villages and populations conducted by the British Mandatory powers in 1945, which mention all of the villages in the area and even some of the inhabitants, prove there is no hint of the existence of an Arab village named Susiya,” says Josh Hasten, spokesman for Regavim an NGO that  fights illegal land use. “More recently aerial photos obtained by Regavim from 1999 show nothing resembling a village in that area. An identical photo from 2013 shows how squatters have infiltrated the locale.”

With the Supreme Court’s ultimatim to the goverment of Israel to destroy the encampment, the government has very little flexibility.  In the coming days and the weeks the left is expected to harm the reputation of the region by continuing to build a false narritive with one goal in mind and that is to appropriate more land from Israel and erase established Jewish history.