Last week, Occupation Forces started destroying the lands of Walaja village, northwest Bethlehem, to make way for the Wall’s footprint. Occupation bulldozers started razing the lands located near the military checkpoint at the entrance of the village. The lands are in the area of Ras Beit Jala and are shared between Walaja and Beit Jala.
Previously, Occupation Forces confiscated these lands and annexed them to the settlement of “Har Gillo,” which is built on the lands of both Walaja and Beit Jala, and installed barbed wires separating the lands from the village. Now the lands that are being exploited for the Wall’s footprint are the little pieces of lands that are left on the side of the main road in Walaja, which makes the people worried that the Wall may cut down the only road that connects them to Bethlehem. This section of the Wall will isolate the house of Mustafa Rabah from the rest of the village, between the Wall and the settlement. Occupation Forces have tried many times previously to convince the man and his family to leave their house.
It is not clear yet whether the Wall will surround the whole village, while isolating all of its lands for the new settlement of Giva’at Ya’il that was announced last June, or whether the Wall will follow the Occupation’s municipal borders which cut the village into two parts – one in Jerusalem and the other in the West Bank.
Moreover, the people in the village went to the Occupation’s high court demanding a stop to the seizing of lands, demolitions and arrests that Occupation Forces are using to expel the people from the village, who are already refugees. Occupation Forces are using the pretext that the people carry West Bank IDs, though the lands are within “the Occupation municipal boundaries of Jerusalem”. However, the court has not given any ruling yet.
For more information on Walaja, please read Abu Nidalâs community voice here.
Occupation Forces gave confiscation orders for two segments of the Wall that will extend to the west of the Hebron district. The first military order confiscates 588 dunums of lands from the villages of Surif, Kh. Deir, Kharas, Nuba and Beit Ula for the Wall’s footprint. This section of the Wall annexes the Gush Ezion settlement bloc to Jerusalem.
The other military order confiscates 433 dunums from the villages of Deir Al Assal, Beit Mirsem, Ar Rweished and Al Burj. The Wall in this area will be 100 meters wide. The first and second military orders do not constitute continious sections of the Wall, as one is in the northwestern parts of Hebron and the other is in the southwestern part, however, the section of the Wall that goes from Idhna to Beit Awa, where the two settlements of Adora and Telem are, have been skipped for now. The Wall in this area will confiscate large areas of Palestinian land. Still, the two sections that did receive military orders are not exactly on the green line, as both will annex 1000 dunums of the above mentioned villages lands.