Al Walaja behind Walls: Land, livelihood and education under Occupation
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Al Walaja behind Walls: Land, livelihood and education under Occupation

On Tuesday 30th of May, Occupation bulldozers attacked the southwest of al-Walaja demolishing two sheds. The destruction comes at the same time as a demolition order for the local school, preparing the path for the Apartheid Wall. The Wall will ghettoize villagers, stealing their lands for the expansion of the settlements.

Occupation Soldiers and bulldozers invaded al-Walaja at 11 am, targeting two sheds of 300 square meters used by villagers for rearing goats and chickens. One property belonged to Mustafa Khalil al Araj, the second to Sharif Ibrahim Abu Ali. The pretext given by the Occupation was a lack of building “permits”, a common tactic deployed to destroy Palestinian property.

The people of al-Walaja claim the real aim of the demolition is to secure the path for the final parts of the Apartheid Wall which will cut the village off from its lands. The sheds as well as the new village school lie in the path of the Wall, with demolition orders threatening the imminent destruction of the school.

Until today, today, 300 students attend class in structurally unsound buildings built before 1967. A new schol is currently being built using money raised by the villagers. The efforts appear to be in vain as the Occupation planned the Wall to be built over the school’s land, and the building is now slated for demolition.

Al Walaja, together with Battir, Husan and Nahhalin are to be ghettoized by the Wall running to the east and the south of the villages. Palestinians are cut off from basic services, educational facilities and livelihoods. Meanwhile, the Gush Etzion Bloc is set to expand by around 40% on the stolen Palestinian land.