Fresh Settler Road in Bethlehem to be Built from stolen Palestinian Land
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Fresh Settler Road in Bethlehem to be Built from stolen Palestinian Land

***image2***Walls, settlements and apartheid by-pass roads. Security zones, checkpoints and military camps. For the past 58 years, the Occupation has built-up such infrastructure throughout Palestine. A lot of “reasons” have been deployed by the Occupation Forces to justify their actions, but they have all been motivated by the same aim: land theft. The resulting ghettoization of Palestinians ensures the Occupation’s increasing control over land, life and movement. This week the process continued in Bethlehem district where a fresh apartheid road is to be constructed from stolen Palestinian land.

On Tuesday July 25, Occupation Soldiers distributed confiscation orders for 215 dunums of lands belonging to the villages of Wadi Fukin, Jaba and Surif. In order to secure a new bypass road for settlements to the west of Bethlehem, the road will complement the already intricate apartheid system of control imposed upon Palestinians in the area.

Farmers had been barred from reach this land since settlement construction on their lands began in the 1970s. The new bypass road will start from north east of Wadi Fukin to the southwest of Jaba, where the Occupation is building a new fortfied checkpoint. The checkpoint will funnel Palestinian workers using the dehumanizing control and permit system, so that they can be used as cheap labour on the other side of the Green Line.

This new settler road will make life in the western Bethlehem area even more difficult. Palestinians in this area have been resisting expulsion since 1948. Many of the families and communities here lost thousands of dunums of land in 1948, and became cut off from their social and economic ties on the other side of the Green Line. After the 1967 war, Occupation Forces confiscated other thousands of dunums to build its settlements and bypass roads.

2002 marked the beginning of the construction of the Apartheid Wall in Bethlehem district. Now the whole area is ghettoized and isolated by the Wall from all directions. The Wall starts from the northeast until the southeast, isolating villages from the rest of Bethlehem district. Meanwhile, another section of the Wall will start from the northwest side until the southwest, ending next to the checkpoint currently being built. A third section from the southwest to southeast will connect between the first two sections. When the circle is complete, some 20,000 Palestinians in this area will be cut off and isolated from the rest of the world.