Earlier this month, the Village Council in Khirbet Jbara, Tulkarem district, received notice that 587 dunums of village land would be confiscated in order to establish a new section of the Apartheid Wall. The new construction of the Wall will take place to the west of Khirbet Jbara, and it will effectively seal the village off from its historic farmland.
***image2*** Currently, the Wall surrounds Khirbet Jbara from the north, the east, and the south, while construction on the western part of the Wall will begin shortly. This will seal the village off from all sides, completely isolating it from the rest of the West Bank and the outside world.
It is already extremely difficult for anyone to get in or out of Khirbet Jbara, as medical personnel and members of humanitarian organizations need to be pre-approved by the Occupation before they can enter the village. Children from the village face similar problems when they try to leave the village to attend school, as they are only permitted to cross the gate at certain hours, and the Occupation forces who are stationed there often force them to wait for long periods of time before opening the gate.
Khirbet Jbara has a population of about 350, and before the Wall was built in 2002, some 95% of the residents earned their livelihoods from farming land and raising animals. With the construction of the Wall, however, the village lost about 90% of its land, thus decimating the agricultural base upon which the village depended. As a result of the loss of their lands and livelihoods, and the near total isolation in which the people of Khirbet Jbara live, their lives have become increasingly intolerable. This village is emblematic of the situation faced by many Palestinian communities, who are imprisoned by the Occupationâs infrastructure of apartheid, which forces them to live in ghettoes and to abandon their traditional livelihoods.