This map shows the different, “alternative routes” of sections of the originally planned Wall around the North West Jerusalem villages affected by the recent Israeli High Court ruling:
1- The Apartheid Wall around these villages was planned by the Occupation military in a way that isolates large areas of lands that belong to these villages. It also surrounds them, separating them from Jerusalem and closes them off from Ram and the main road to Ramallah. By Cutting these villages off from Jerusalem and leaving them only a tenuous long linkage to Ramallah, it will mean that the Wall will severely hinder people‘s access to their markets and services in Jerusalem and Ramallah, inducing unsustainable transportation and transaction costs.
2- This map features the “alternative” wall route that was proposed by the retired generals (CPS) (2). This “alternative” Wall route shows that Occupation Forces may not annex Mount Maqtam and Sheikh Zeitun, which would therefore leave Beit Inan and Betunia with some of their lands for cultivation. This “alternative” wall route would also keep Beit Iksa linked to the other villages within the walled area.
3- The map also shows the Wall route as suggested by the village petitioners to the Occupation High Court (3). This Wall’s route accommodates all of the existing illegal settlements and much of their planned expansion. It closely follows the line suggested at the Taba talks, which is utterly disadvantageous for Arab Jerusalem and its surroundings.
4- The last important feature on the map indicates the likely scope for an adapted Wall route (red arrows) which would probably meet the criteria of ‘proportionality’ set out by the Occupation’s High Court in causing Palestinian damages.
The Map illustrates the limitations of only a local community based challenge of the Wall by the proposed “alternative” routes of the Wall.
The Court took SELECTIVE considerations – in proportion to the standards they set – for the villages cultivated lands ending up behind the Wall. It also understood concerns that the Wall would seriously hinder Palestinian road links. However, the Court has now instructed Occupation Army Planners to project an alternative Wall Route that would address ONLY these particular issues, and ONLY in this particular section of the Wall. Thus, the Occupation Court concluded that the only things to be taken into consideration were that some cultivated lands and some linkage to Ramallah be left for Palestinians.
However, the Court’s decision will only address the impact of the Wall on these issues in proportion to their standards, that is to say, to a LIMITED degree. The result will most probably mean that the route of the Wall will follow that represented by the red arrows on this map, and will probably be accompanied by some new “alternative” road links, such as the recently constructed Rafat Tunnel.
This means that from the perspective of Palestinian National interests, the most damaging consequences of the Wall remain unconsidered by the Occupation Court.
The Apartheid Wall, in all three “alternative” routes will still severely constrict residential and commercial development of villages and hinder access to cultural-historical-religious sites (for instance: Nabi Samwil). At the same time, these routes also annex all of the settlements in the area, leaving them the space needed for expansion – mainly Giv’at Ze’ev – which would take place on primary Palestinian natural and cultural-historical landscapes (Nabi Samwil Hill Ridge, so-called Ayalon Valley by the Occupation Forces). At the same time, it eliminates the possibility for urgently needed urban development of Metropolitan Arab Jerusalem, the best opportunities for which are located around Bir Nabala and directly south of Ramallah.
This map, in outlining these possible “alternative” routes of the Wall reveals that the case is no more than an attempt by the Occupation Judicial system to enable Israel to portray the “new” Apartheid Wall as “fairly and proportionately” accommodating Palestinian damages in return for “security”.
However, in reality, the court’s decision conceals the geo-political drive behind the Wall, which is aimed at accommodating large-scale settlement expansion, while putting Palestinians into ghettos.