On April 18, clashes erupted in Dahiet al Barid, Jerusalem as Occupation Forces sealed off access to the remaining crossing point on the main road. The Apartheid Wall runs through the middle of the main street, splitting the community in two with just one crossing point for the community. Its closure signalled the tightening of the Palestinian ghetto as the Judaization of Jerusalem advances.
***image2***Since the Wall has been built right in the middle of the street in September 2004, only one crossing point has been kept open for the community. For over two weeks, Occupation Soldiers have been stationed here to control and humiliate Palestinians including schoolchildren who pass on a daily basis.
On the 18th of April, a new Occupation order barred anybody from passing. On that day school children were left stranded on one side of the Wall with their parents unable to cross. Since the closure, life in the community has come under increasing strain as the neighbourhood is split into tighter ghettos. What used to be a five minute walk has turned into a nightmare journey that requires Palestinians to travel west along the Wall, cross the hellish fortified checkpoint of Qalandiya, and then track back east to their community in Jerusalem.
Palestinians refused to accept the orders of the Occupation and staged a spontaneous protest met by heavy tear gas and sound bombs. A large contingent of Occupation Forces arrived and the area declared a military zone. The following day, another demonstration was organised to denounce the Judaization of the city, and the fragmentation of Palestinian neighbourhoods. Hundreds of people took to the streets and vowed to resist their ghettoization by the Occupation and the Zionist dream of a Jerusalem âfor Jews onlyâ. Protests were drowned in tear gas while Soldiers pursued Palestinians through the neighbourhood, firing rounds of rubber and live bullets. Several injuries were reported.
***image3***The neighbourhood of Dahiet al Barid is located on the outskirts of ar-Ram, and towards the main commercial street. The Wall in ar-Ram will place sixty thousand people in a ghetto and cut them out from Jerusalem. Dahiet al Barid will be cut in half. The area has been a crucial social and economic centre over the last few decades, where merchants from all over Palestine met to trade. The Wall has had an enormous impact, destroying the livelihoods of thousands of people. Today, 40% of businesses have closed and many small factories which provided vital employment have shut down. 10,000 people have already deserted the area and over 20% of the houses are now empty.