The Apartheid Wallâs path is accelerating rapidly with destruction continuing daily in the northern West Bank as well as the Jerusalem and Bethlehem areas. New information suggests that recent projections by international organizations have greatly underestimated the Apartheid Wallâs current and coming devastation on Palestinian communities throughout the West Bank. The Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaignâs most recent map of the Wallâs path, finalized November 2003, reveals that if completed in its entirety, nearly 50% of the West Bank population will be affected by the Wall though the loss of their land, imprisonment into ghettos, isolation into de facto annexed areas by Israel.
Indication of much of the Wallâs path has already been given through the destruction taking place in and around villages and cities in eight of the eleven West Bank districts, while further projections for the November 2003 map have been possible through a combination of other means, including actions and construction that has already occurred, âapprovedâ plans by the Israeli government, projections from the Israeli military and satellite images. While the Wallâs horrid path remains much the same as previously projected by the Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign, further âextensionsâ for the annexation of settlements, theft of Palestinian land, and encirclement of communities intensify the Wallâs stranglehold over Palestine.
THE WALL’S EVER EXTENDING PATH OF GHETTOIZATION
The Continuing âFirst Phaseâ
In the Wallâs âfirst phaseâ, which was officially declared complete by the Israeli government in July 2003, destruction has actually continued, as the map indicates that in the Tulkarem and Jenin districts, further extensions of the Wall are taking place for Israelâs annexation of the land occupied by the settlements Mevo Dotan and Khermesh. In the Salfit and Nablus district, projections reveal that the Wall around the enormous Ariel settlement will be tightly connected to the enclave created from the Jordan Valley, for the annexation of the settlements Eli and Rehelim. It is noteworthy that Israeli out-posts in this enclave are increasing and consolidating control over more land. While Israeli by-pass road 60 already drastically severs the West Bank from east to west in this area (along the borders of the Salfit, Ramallah and Nablus districts), this new section of the Wall will finalize this division.
Ghettos within Ghettoes in Ramallah
Significant changes on the November 2003 Campaign map highlight the Wallâs ghettoization of villages in the western side of the Ramallah district and Israelâs efforts to ethnically cleanse people in this region. The Wallâs path will run deep in the West Bank, to northern Jerusalem, isolating some 25 villages with over 67,000 Palestinian residents. In what can be assumed is a âgestureâ to the US government, which has âsuggestedâ concern over the Wallâs path, Israel now has plans to build a second Wall, closer to the Green Line, thereby enclosing the isolated villages. It can also be assumed that this Wall will be built in such a way to ensure Israelâs easy and ongoing access to some of the West Bankâs most fertile land. The two walls in this area will imprison and restrict communities with high urban growth, severely limiting expansion and development. Without such measures, in fifty years time, the population of these ghettoized areas has the capacity to to rise from 67,000 to 150,000 â a threatening figure for Israel. The Wallâs stranglehold over life and the inability for communities to expand, is likely to expel residents who will have little choice but to move further into what are now the West Bankâs larger ghettos, such as Ramallah. Additional projections suggest that Israel already has significant expansion plans in this area; these include a 4-lane highway to Tel Aviv and the extension of the Israeli light rail currently under construction. A projected route would have the rail run directly through the western Ramallah district, connecting the settlements of Pisgat Zeâev and Givâat Zeâev in East Jerusalem to Modiâin and the new Israeli airport.
Finalizing âGreater Jerusalemâ
It is well recognized that the Apartheid Wall around Jerusalem is a means of finalizing the Israeli/Zionist project of âGreater Jerusalemâ, already marked by Israeli by-pass roads and settlements. The most recent step in the actualization of this project is, of course, the Wall. In what are dramatic changes since the Campaignâs earlier map, newest projections reveal that the Wallâs path ripping through the neighborhoods and villages of Jerusalem, will lock some 400 square kilometers into separated ghettos. Also, while previous projections showed the Wall running close to the settlement French Hill, recent plans indicate that this area will remain âopenâ for continued Israeli colonization and âJudaizationâ of Jerusalem. An additional barrier will be constructed around the settlements Maâale Adumim and Kefar Adumim, among the most populated in the West Bank with plans for accelerated âgrowthâ.
The Wall through Bethlehem and Hebron
***image3***The new map also reveals grim changes through Bethlehem and south to Hebron, where the Wallâs path has moved further into the West Bank, appropriating prime agricultural areas to Israel. In Bethlehem district, five villages will be isolated west of the Wall while another three will be hermetically sealed into ghettos, with a bottleneck to reach Bethlehem city. In Hebron, the Wallâs path is now projected to cut further away from the Green Line, again stealing principal agricultural land. Future plans indicate that the Wall will tear through the district into the city itself to annex the settlement Qiryat Arba and run along the Ibrahimi Mosque. Both Bethlehem and Hebron districts will also be further shredded by the Wallâs path through the Jordan Valley.
Massive Land Theft through the Jordan Valley
Plans for the eastern Wall, weaving through the Jordan Valley, deliver yet another devastating blow. The Wall running through the Jordan Valley will isolate over 20 villages while additional barriers will encircle Jericho into an isolated prison. Israeli settlements form a string down the Valley, many of which are agriculturally productive and seeking to occupy more lands. While the Palestinian population in the Jordan Valley is significantly lower than in the rest of the West Bank, the mass amount of agricultural land that Israel plans to annex with the eastern Wall is of critical proportions.
Apartheid AND EXPULSION
***image4***The harsh destruction to land and livelihood is too well known to nearly seven percent of the West Bank population as a result of the Wallâs âfirst phaseâ in the Jenin, Tulkarem, and Qalqiliya districts. In these areas, 0.6% of Palestinians in the West Bank are already isolated west of the Wall, while 6.1% suffer separation from their cultivated lands (as shown in the diagram âAffected Palestinian West Bank Population). Even when only counting the Wallâs approved sections by the Israeli cabinet, the number of Palestinians isolated outside the Wall jumps to 16.9%, while those separated from their land rises to 22.6%. If the Wall is completed in its entirety, the reality will force 17.9% of the West Bank population to be isolated behind the Wall with another 32.4% will be divided from their landsâadding up to a dire total of 49.9% of Palestinians, over 1,000,000 people, throughout the West Bank ravaged by the Apartheid Wall.
The reality of the Apartheid Wallâs formation of ghettos coupled with the undeniable stranglehold of life in Palestine, and obviously all within the context of the ongoing illegal Occupation, perpetuates the dispossession of Palestine at the hands of Israel. Further, the Apartheid Wall is a blatant tool for the Zionist/Israeli slogan and policy of âmore land, less peopleâ and the aimed expulsion of Palestinians from their homeland. Having been under construction for nearly one and a half years already, with no significant pressure from the international community, let alone efforts to stop the Wall, there is less than another yearâs time until the majority of the racist project will be complete. Unfortunately, the consequences of expulsion are already taking place and the powerful wheels of Apartheid are turning at an ever-rapid pace.