Yehonatan Geffen’s daughter gifts contents of his home to Palestinian villages

Shira Geffen says move is a message to residents of Masafer Yatta, facing expulsion by the IDF, that they ‘are seen’

Shira Geffen, center left, at the funeral of her father author and musician Yehonatan Geffen in Nahalal cemetery, northern Israel, April 21, 2023. Shira Geffen's T-shirt reads 'No democracy with occupation.' (Shir Torem/Flash90 )
Shira Geffen, center left, at the funeral of her father author and musician Yehonatan Geffen in Nahalal cemetery, northern Israel, April 21, 2023. Shira Geffen's T-shirt reads 'No democracy with occupation.' (Shir Torem/Flash90 )

Contents from the home of Israeli musical and literary icon Yehonatan Geffen, who died in April, were donated by his daughter to Palestinian villages in the South Hebron Hills where residents are facing eviction.

Shira Geffen told Yedioth Ahronoth in a Wednesday report that while clearing out her father’s home she decided to give a truckload of items to Masafer Yatta, a group of hamlets that are home to over 1,000 Palestinians facing impending expulsion from the area as the IDF has designated it a live-fire training zone.

The donation was facilitated by Breaking the Silence, an organization that collects and publicizes mostly anonymous testimony by former Israeli combat soldiers about alleged human rights violations against Palestinians.

“I don’t know how people feel who are about to be deported from their homes by a foreign military regime, and will they find a use for his things, but for me it is also to send them a message that they are seen,” Geffen told the newspaper.

At her father’s funeral Shira Geffen wore a T-shirt that read “There is no democracy with occupation,” a reference to Israel’s control over the West Bank.

The expulsion order for Masafer Yatta was upheld last May by Israel’s Supreme Court, after a two-decade legal battle. Most residents of the area have remained in place since the ruling, even as Israeli security forces periodically roll in to demolish structures.

Singer and poet Yehonatan Geffen at the EMI, the Israel Artists Association, lifetime achievement awards ceremony, held in Petah Tikva, February 17, 2016. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

Masafer Yatta is made up of eight hamlets that are in the 60 percent of the West Bank known as Area C, where the IDF exercises full control under interim peace agreements reached with the Palestinians in the 1990s. Palestinian structures built without military permits — which residents say are nearly impossible to obtain — are at risk of demolition.

The situation has drawn condemnation from the international community.

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