Tag Archives: Susya

A New Bio-Gas System in Palestinian Susya

in May 2010, the Bio-Gas project was launched to install systems for producing gas from sheep and goat dung for the domestic energy needs of the Palestinian hamlet of Susya (Susiya). This project was the initiative of Yair Teller, together with The Villages Group and Arava Institute. The first sytem was installed in the dwelling compound of the Hajj Ismail Nawaj’ah family, in Susya. Subsequently, two similar systems were installed in the dwelling compounds of another two families of the same clan in Susya. These are small systems of 4 cubic meters, each providing one family’s cooking needs.

In the two years since, Yair Teller continued developing his expertise in bio-gas. He joined three partners – Erez Lantzer, Oshik Efrati and Danny Dunayevsky, who together formed the Ecogas company. Ecogas and the Arava Institute are now pursuing the development of additional bio-gas systems in Palestinian Susya. Currently, together with the villagers, they are working to install a new 16-cubic-meter system in the area of the Hasan Shinran family in the western part of Susya.

The eastern part of Susya is inhabited mostly by families of the Nawaj’ah clan and is in Area C (in which permission for construction has been temporarily left in the hands of the Israeli Occupation authorities according to the Oslo Accords).

Last month, the Occupation regime’s “civil administration” issued demolition orders for most of the dwellings in that part of Susya. The residents, with the help of the Village Group and many other Paletinian, Israeli and international partners, are fighting these unjust orders in court and in the public sphere.

The western part, inhabited mostly by families of the Shinran clan is in Area B (where construction is authorized mostly by the Palestinian Authority). The new bio-gas system is constructed in this part of Susya, and is relatively safe. Unlike its predecessors, this system is meant to supply not only gas for family needs, but also for winter heating of the local schoolhouse – is also under threat of demolition by the “civil administration”, who claims it lies about 150 meters inside Area C.

According to plan, as soon as the bio-gas system itself will be completed, the second phase will begin, whereby two green-houses will be created at this site: one for educational purposes, in the area of the school. The schoolchildren of Susya will cultivate this greehouse under guidance from Arava Institute instructors. Thus they will learn to apply ecological principles in farming. The second green-house will be built in the Hasan Shinran compound, and to grow vegetables for both local consumption and marketing. Crops of both planned green-houses will be fertilized by compost produced from the surplus production processes of the gas system.

In conclusion, to the best of our understanding, when the heart listens, other hearts are heard, and fertile cooperation ensues. Even if the demolishing hand carries out its threats, the hearts will go on beating. Hearts are not to be demolished.

Ehud and Erella, on behalf of The Villages Group

My Home is Everything: the People of Susiya Speak to the World, and other updates

Dear Friends and supporters,

The latest news from Qamar, the lawyer from Rabbis for Human Rights representing Palestinian Susiya: the occupation’s “Civil Administration” agreed to extend the period for the submission of the juridical objections to the demolition orders issued for most structures in Susiya (Susya) last week, until the beginning of next month (1.7).

We take the opportunity to thank the many of you who contacted us during the last few days, expressing your solidarity with the people of Susiya, and informing us about various actions taken by them in protest against the demolition orders threatening the existence of Palestinian Susiya. A new website named “Susiya Forever” has been launched. It is dedicated to the people of Palestinian Susya and their ongoing struggle to continue living on their lands.

Meanwhile, after hearing about Susiya residents in the third person, now we finally have a chance to hear from the people of Susiya themselves.

Ibrahim Nawaja, a young local leader of the Susiya community and a student for documentary films in a colleague in Bethlehem, asked five women and four men in Susiya to share their feelings and fears about living under constant threats of demolitions and deportation waged against them by the Israeli occupation. The result is a unique short documentary that brings the simple message of the persecuted people of Susiya directly to you. The wonderful still photos embedded in the video have been taken by members of the families of the people interviewed in it.

Please watch and distribute widely, this is a crucial document for Susiya’s survival!

For many more videos from Susiya, check out http://susiyaforever.wordpress.com/movies/

Ehud Krinis on behlf of the Villages Group

Susya Creative and Learning Center: 1st Anniversary Celebration

On Saturday, May 28th, 2011, a celebration was held at the Palestinian village of Susya to mark the frist anniversary of the Susya Creative and Learning Center’s activity. Four hundred guests took part in the festivities – half of them Palestinians from Susya and the area, and the others – Israelis and internationals who reached Susya from various places in Israel and the world.

The Susya Creative and Learning Center, a joint initiative of local residents and the Villages Group has held a wide variety of activities this past year, among them classes in Arabic and Hebrew, Dabkah dancing, art workshops etc. These activities have made a significant contribution to the process of consolidating the community of families living at Susya.

One part of the celebration took place in the area of the Creative and Learning Center tent where the central assembly was held as well as kite-flying and Dabkah performances of local youth and children’s dance groups. In the nearby tent a sequence of short films was being projected about Susya and its people and about the Creative and Learning Center and its activities. Another part of the event took place at family dwelling tents. Each presented to its guests a display of photographs taken by the women of the family.

A samba players’ group and the Clown-Army group from Israel performed both at the central celebration area and in the family dwellings.

Several settlers from the Israeli settlement of Sussya tried to come in and spoil the fun. In this case, unlike others, army forces present kept charge of the order around Palestinian Susya and prevented the settlers from actually reaching the celebration centers and disrupt the events.

Among the organizations whose support made this celebration possible are The Villages Group, ActiveStills, COMET-ME, Breaking the Silence, Taayush and the Alternative Information Center.

Among the many volunteers who helped make this festivity a success, special thanks go to Ibrahim, Abd al-Rahman and Ahmad of the Susya Creative and Learning Center Committee, Mahmud and Ala from Yatta, David of the Villages Group, Keren and Mareike from ActiveStills, Dolev, Neriya and Tehila of Taayush, and the international volunteers Kate, Fiona and Victoria.

Ehud Krinis, The Villages Group

Family, Friends and Volunteers Renovate Hajja Sara’s Kitchen Tent

The image below was taken during our visit to Hajja Sara of Palestinian Susiya on Thursday January 6. Her tent kitchen was torched before dawn on December 28, apparently by neighboring settlers – part of a wave of escalation in the area.

Following news of the incident, family and friends in Palestine and Israel, as well as Israeli and international groups, have enlisted to help in donation and work on the ground. Hajja Sara’s kitchen now stands again. We too have received donations in money and in kind (cooking equipment), and will deliver them shortly to Hajja Sara and her family.

Hajja Sara (seated front left), with family and friends, celebrating the rebuilt kitchen tent

The warm and rapid response has uplifted the spirits of the aging Hajja. However, with all the satisfaction we must not forget that Palestinian Susiya remains under the continuing danger of destruction and expulsion, not just by settlers but by the official forces of the State of Israel. The Occupation authorities, dominated by settler interests, see any act of construction and renovation as illegal.

Wind Turbine Workshop at TAEQ

Yesterday (Thursday the 28th of August) we have finished a five day practical course on small wind turbine construction. The workshop was attended by 9 participants from various communities across the west bank and was hosted by TAEQ (Towns Association for Environmental Quality in the Lower Galilee region). The participants learned about the basic design principles of small scale wind turbines and then built, with their own hands, a fully functional 1kW wind turbine. Although, due to time limitations, the turbine still needs some finishing work, once it will be done the turbine will be installed, together with another one we assembled from a kit, in Susya where they will serve the community in powering refrigerators for storing and selling the milk and diary products produced in the region.
Although there were a few things we were unhappy with (naturally for a workshop running for the first time) in the course of the workshop we think it was, all in all, a success. The students were determined to make the best out of their stay in Sakhnin, were eager to learn and gained confidence in their ability to actually construct a wind turbine, combined with an understanding of the difficulties and complications involved. Many new contacts were made during the workshop between us and the students and among the students. We came out even more confident in the direction we have chosen and are already hatching up several new ideas (of which we will update once they reach maturity). We hope the participants enjoyed it as much as we did and are confident we will keep in touch and do things together.
Thanks to: Lina, Muhamad, Hamdan, Yehye, Waseem, Jalal, Alaa, Ahmad, Abed, Hannan and Hanadi.
Noam and Elad.

The gang enjoying the fruit of their labour...

The gang enjoying the fruit of their labour...

Sixteen Family Solar-Power Units Installed in Susya Region

— This message from Noam — embedded pictures soon to follow … meanwhile you can watch the slide show put together by Eduardo Soteras who was there and took pictures



We are very pleased to inform you that all the installations of the first stage of the project in Susya are completed successfully.

We have worked from Tuesday to Friday, to deliver and install 16 Solar systems to families in Susya.

All the systems are tested and functional. We still need to deliver some missing lamps. This will be carried out this week.

Thanks to all of you who made this dream come true for the families of Susya.

We are looking forward to accomplish the next steps of the project.


Noam Dotan

Visit to Tuba – Saturday, February 9 2008

We arrived around 10 AM – Ehud, Emily and Jack (the latter two volunteers at “Bustan” – an organization aiding the Bedouins). We picked Nasser up and continued immediately to Tuba. The direct roads to this cave-dwelling village were blocked years ago by settlers from Ma’on and Ma’on Ranch. The settlers also took care to eradicate the last remnant of these roads by placing their new chicken sheds over them.

To get to Tuba nowadays, you can choose between two bypass routes – both of them rocky and passable only with tractors and off-road vehicles. The road takes three-quarters of an hour. Another option is to approach by foot, on a path safely removed from the Ma’on Ranch settlers which takes forty minutes. We chose this option. We parked the car at another cave-dweller village, Mufakra, where Fadel joined us. Fadel has recently lost the work permit (in Israel) for which he has been applying for a year and a half – all due to the vindictiveness of some subcontractor from Yatta.

Early on our way, we met two volunteers from CPT, who escorted local sheperds tending their herds near Ma’on Ranch. This normally tense region was now doubly tense, due to an increased presence of military and police forces. The security services now suspect that the two terrorists who hit Dimona last week, got there not from Egypt but from the West Bank through the cave-dwellers’ territory. It is a known route for undocumented Palestinian laborers on their way to Israel.

The internationals stood on a high hill and looked around with binoculars. When we met them, everything still looked quiet and the shepherds were peacefully tending to their herds. As we continued on our way, Ehud’s signature good luck in such situations started to clash with Fadel’s spate of bad luck. Fadel’s red-white checkered kafiyyeh apparently caught the eye of security forces. A military jeep was summoned, but by the time it got there we were already out of sight, deep inside some wadi.

When we arrived in Tuba we were greeted by Omar and entered his cave. There, other heads of family joined us – Ibrahim Omar’s brother, and Ali. Our main goal in this visit was to transfer money that Liz raised on behalf of cave-dweller college students: Mohamed Omar’s son, who studies computer science; and Haleel, Ibrahim’s son who studies sociology. We also gave Ali a donation which will enable eye surgery for his daughter Reem. Reem was injured in the head a few years ago, in circumstances related to the blockade of the road to school in Tuwwani by settlers.

We also met another Tuba family. The father, Haj Issa, has passed away only two weeks ago, at age ninety according to the locals. He left in Tuba seven children from his second wife – the eldest, Ali, is 22 – and one more on the way. Meanwhile, we received calls from the volunteers and from Ezra, warning us that security forces – whether from over-alertness or from boredom – converged on the shepherds near Ma’on Ranch and started to harass them and drive them away. But by the time we made our way back, things were back to normal again – the security forces had gone and the shepherds were still around. The internationals were still on their vigil, and let us know that this was the most difficult day for the shepherds since the Dimona attack. Another unwelcome side effect of that attacked and the increased military presence, has been the blocking of the road between Yatta and Tuwwani, for the first time in a year and a half.

We continued on to Susya, visiting Mohamed and Hamda and delivering the third scholarship to their son Ahmed, a geography student. We finished, already at dusk, with a visit to Abu Jihad.