At the end of July 2003, just over a year after beginning construction, the Israeli military announced the completion of the Wall's "first phase", which runs 145 km through the northern West Bank districts of Jenin, Tulkarem, and Qalqiliya. Though "completion" has been declared, the reality is strikingly different; the destruction of land and the demolition of homes and markets continue in this area on a daily basis. The large scale devastation to people's livelihoods amidst the confiscation of land and resources in the Wall's "first phase" highlights the real objective of the Wall - a massive land grab with the expulsion of Palestinians from their homes and land. Residents have already been forced to seek subsistence "elsewhere", as the fate of being a refugee becomes a reality, which more and more families are beginning to face.
The following data refers only to what has taken place in the northern "first phase".
- Over 200,000 people living in the areas around the Wall in the districts of Jenin, Tulkarem, and Qalqiliya are affected by the Wall.
- Qalqiliya city is completely surrounded by the Wall, Tulkarem is isolated on one side by the Wall and on the other by the "Isolation Barrier" (an expansion of the Wall that ensures complete isolation/ghettoization), and 18 villages are surrounded on all three sides by the Wall.
- At various points, the Wall is built 6 km inside the West Bank, cutting into over 1/10 of the West Bank width.
- Some 11,550 people, from 16 villages are trapped between the Wall and the 1967 Green Line, in the de facto annexed area which Israel now considers a "closed military zone".
- 10 illegal Israeli Jewish-only settlements/colonies are de facto annexed.
- Most of the fertile lands of some 50 villages will be separated and isolated from the community.
Land Theft and Destruction
- 121,455 dunums1 of land - 2% of the West Bank - is to be de facto annexed in the "first phase" of the Wall under the Israeli self-declared "security zone".
- Some 14,680 dunums of land have been razed for the footprint of the Wall, including the uprooting of 102,320 trees.
- Of the 51 communities on the Wall's path, 25 reported that residents have no access to land, four said there is limited access and 13 still have access.
- Approximately 20,000 individuals, in some 3,175 families, will be located east of the Wall but with their agricultural lands to the west, losing their livelihoods, sustenance, and heritage.
- Some 10,000 grazing animals will not have access to their grazing lands.
- An illegal tree-selling industry had been established, whereas the bulldozer drivers and construction companies collaborated in uprooting trees for and under the pretense of the Wall in order to sell them on the Israeli market.
|Case Study: Jayous, a small village in the Qalqiliya district with a population of about 3,000, has already had 72% of its lands isolated from farmers, some 8,600 dunums and 7 groundwater wells. At least 300 families are losing their only source of income.|
Large Scale Demolitions
- To date some 218 buildings have been demolished in the village of Nazlat 'Isa, the majority of which have been stores, an important source of income and survival for a number of communities; five homes have also been demolished for the Wall.
- At least an additional 75 stores, 20 factories, 20 homes, and 1 primary school have demolition orders which are expected to take place in the very near future.
|***image1***Case Study: Nazlat 'Isa, which is trapped between the Wall and the '67 Green Line, has had its entire commercial market destroyed for the building of the Wall. East of the Wall's "isolation barrier" that is being built in this area and a top of village lands will be the "Trans-Israel Highway", connecting the network of Israeli and settler roads. An additional 16 house demolition orders are pending, signifying that most of the village and its entire economic infrastructure will be devastated. Nazlat 'Isa may be the first village to be destroyed along the Wall.|
- The Wall is only meters away from a number of small villages, or hamlets, which have been told by the military that proximity to the Wall will render most of their community to be demolished.
|Case Study: Azzun Atma, a village with 1,500 residents, is surrounded from three sides by the Wall with an Israeli-bypass road cutting through its lands and isolating 70 residents. The Wall has brought a halt to building or demolition orders for 24 homes in the village.|
Resources, Infrastructure, and Livelihoods
- The Western Aquifer, the largest freshwater resource in the region after the Jordan River, is located under the Jenin, Tulkarem and Qalqiliya districts enabling them to be among the most agriculturally productive areas in the West Bank. According to the World Bank, in 2000 these three regions accounted for 45% of the West Bank's agricultural production.
- A number of villages are to lose their only source of water.
- 36 groundwater wells and over 200 cisterns are isolated from their communities by the Wall with an additional 14 wells threatened for demolition in the Wall's "buffer zone".
- The total annual discharge of these fifty wells which will be either totally lost or extremely difficult to access and control is more than 6.7 MCM, which is able to satisfy the need for agricultural and domestic water use of over 122,000 persons.
- Upon laying the groundwork for the Wall, Israeli bulldozers have destroyed some 35,000 meters of water pipes and 25 wells and cisterns which were for both agricultural and domestic use.
- Of the 51 communities on the path of the Wall, almost 50% will be completely unable to irrigate their land on the other side of the Wall.
- The land confiscation, destruction, and severe restriction of movement will mean the loss of at least 6,500 jobs.
|Case Study on Unemployment: Israeli closures and the Wall around the communities in the Tulkarem district prevent residents from traveling for employment, which has caused the unemployment rate to swell from 18% in 2000 to 78% in the spring of 2003.|
|Case Study on Education: In the Tulkarem district about 650 teachers out of 1,964 are facing difficulties in reaching their classes due to the Wall (World Bank data). In Ad Dab'a students will soon be prevented from reaching their secondary school that is located in the neighboring village and is now cut off by the Wall.|
|Case Study: Due to the Wall's complete imprisonment of Qalqiliya, nearly 10% of the 42,000 residents have been forced to leave their homes in the city in search of sustenance and employment "elsewhere".|
1) 1 dunum = 1/4 acre = 1,000 square meters