The wall effects of Palestinian lands and people

The wall effects of Palestinian lands and people

The construction of the Israeli separation wall began on the 16th June 2002. For the most part the barrier, which could eventually extend over 750km, consists of a series of 25 foot high concrete walls, trenches, barbed wire and electrified fencing with numerous watch towers, electronic sensors, thermal imaging and video cameras, unmanned aerial vehicles, sniper towers, and roads for patrol vehicles.

The most recent map of the Wall’s path, finalized November 2003, reveals that if completed in its entirety, nearly 50% of the West Bank population will be affected by the Wall through loss of land, imprisonment into ghettos, or isolation into Israeli de facto annexed areas1 .

Israel maintains that the Wall is a temporary structure to physically separate the West Bank from Israel and thus to prevent suicide attacks on Israeli citizens. However the wall’s location, (in some places reaching up to 6km inside Palestinian territory), and projected length, (currently 750km, despite a border with Israel of less than 200km), suggest it is more realistically an additional effort to confiscate Palestinian land, facilitate further colony expansion and unilaterally redraw geopolitical borders all the while encouraging an exodus of Palestinians by denying them the ability to earn a living from their land, reach their schools or work places, access adequate water resources, or reach essential health care

The wall is having the following direct effects of Palestinian lands and people

 1-Land Confiscation and destruction 

The path that the wall is taking through the West Bank is resulting in massive land confiscation, de facto annexation, and destruction of cultivated lands. So far the completed section has appropriated 107 square kilometers of Palestinian land constituting 1.9% of the West Bank. If the entire wall is completed it is projected that more than 43% of the West Bank will be taken by Israel and will be located outside the wall which will serve to enclose the remaining 57% in Ghettos.

So far the fence construction has already uprooted an estimated 102,3203 Palestinian olive and citrus trees, demolished 75 acres of greenhouses and 23 miles of irrigation pipes. It now rests on 15,000 dunums of confiscated land, and its projection guarantees the confiscation of a further 120-150,000 dunums.

The Wall is only meters away from a number of small villages, or hamlets, which have been told by the military that proximity to the Wall, will render most of their community to be demolished. To date some 218 buildings have been demolished in the village of Nazlat 'Isa, the majority of which have been stores, an important source of income and survival for a number of communities; 5 homes have also been demolished for the Wall. At least an additional 75 stores, 20 factories, 

20 homes, and 1 primary school have demolition orders which are expected to take place in the very near future

2 - Palestinians trapped between wall and green line

Currently the wall carves off about 123,000 dunums of land from the Palestinian side of the Green Line. This land amounts to about 2% of the West Bank, and contains at least 16 Palestinian villages and 12,000 residents, according to Israeli and Palestinian human rights groups and the World Bank. This number will rise to 395,000 if all sections of the wall are completed – 17.8% of the Palestinian population.

As of the 2 October the area between the wall and the Green Line has been declared a "closed military zone” and a haphazard permit system introduced. The orders require approximately 7,000 residents in these closed areas to apply for permits to remain living in their homes. These permits are valid for up to six months and have turned a right of Palestinians to live in their own homes into a privilege. The Wall will further restrict farmers living outside this 'closed zone' from getting to their land within it. Medical staff and international humanitarian organizations also have to apply for special permits. The military orders exempt Israeli citizens and internationals of Jewish descent from these requirements

3 - Palestinians separated from land, resources and family

The fence has relocated a great deal of rich farmland and water wells to the Israeli side of the wall. At least 115 Palestinian towns and villages have so far been directly affected by the wall which cuts them off from their land and resources. Of the 47 Palestinian towns and villages along phase one of the wall's route 21 are separated from more than half of their land by the fence. 36 groundwater wells and over 200 cisterns are isolated from their communities by the Wall with an additional 14 wells threatened for demolition in the Wall's "buffer zone"

4 - Implications for health and education

The wall will significantly impair access of Palestinians in isolated villages to hospitals, particularly in Tulkarem, Qalqiliya, and East Jerusalem. 71 primary health clinics will be isolated from the rest of the West Bank between the wall and the green line or in areas enclaved by the depth barrier. These clinics whilst essential providers of primary health care are not fully equipped to serve the surrounding communities. For instance they do not have delivery rooms, or specialized doctors

5 - The Jerusalem Envelope

This section of the wall has received its name because of the divisions it is creating. When complete the wall will be approximately 70 kilometers long and will cut off an estimated 249,000 Palestinian residents of Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank. The route of the wall is linked with bypass roads and settlements, together forming an efficient barrier from Ramallah to Bethlehem through the neighborhood of Abu Dis, de facto annexing 5.6% of the West Bank.

Approximately 33 kilometers of the "Jerusalem envelope" have been constructed: in the north four kilometers from Kalandia checkpoint to Opher military camp in the Ramallah area, and the rest from Gilo settlement to Beit Sahur in the Bethlehem area. According to PENGON, "the northern Jerusalem Wall is isolating 15,000 Jerusalem ID holders, living in Kufr Aqab and Qalandiya Refugee Camp from the city, their familial and social ties, and public services.

To facilitate easy access for the illegal settler communities of East Jerusalem a ring road is now being built, connecting the various settlements to one another and to Jerusalem whilst encircling the Palestinian neighborhoods. More than 658 dunnums of land will be confiscated for the purpose alone, and approximately 40 Palestinian homes will be demolished, leaving the remaining residents trapped between roads and walls

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