WATCH: Women of Masafer Yatta tell their stories of resistance

As Israel carries out its expulsions in the West Bank region, Palestinian women talk about what it means to face a state that targets them as an 'enemy.'

Over 1,000 Palestinians live in the Masafer Yatta region of the occupied West Bank, in the South Hebron Hills. A cluster of agricultural communities living mostly in caves, the residents make a livelihood out of raising sheep and growing crops. In May of this year, on Israel’s Independence Day, the Israeli Supreme Court issued a ruling for the expulsion of the Palestinians of Masafer Yatta, in contravention of international law. 

This was the culmination of a process that began in the early 1980s, when Israel confiscated 30 million square meters in the region for use as a military training area, named “Firing Zone 918,” as an excuse for expelling the Palestinian residents. Israel did deport all of the residents in 1999, before an appeal to the High Court allowed them to return pending a final decision on the matter.

Suddenly and symbolically, while Israeli citizens were waving flags and barbecuing to celebrate Israel’s independence earlier this year, the Supreme Court issued its final ruling in favor of transferring the residents of Masafer Yatta. Judge David Minz — himself a settler — authored the majority opinion. 

Over the past weeks, as Israel’s plans for the expulsion are set in motion, activists Rachel Shor and Naomi Nur Zahor have been visiting Masafer Yatta to speak to the women who live there, and filming their conversations for Social TV — an independent and alternative media organization that aims to dismantle oppressive power structures. 

The women of Masafer Yatta carry on their backs complex identities, each one with her own story, coping collectively and individually with the implications of the expulsion, the impending demolition of their homes, the unknown, and a state that continually views them as the “enemy,” enacting against them a long series of racist and discriminatory practices.

This report is dedicated to them: Kifah, Hiba, Sanaa, Majda, Zohariya, Dalia, and Farissa.