The Holy City … The Fatal Change

The Holy City … The Fatal Change

It has always been the case that Jerusalem was, and still is, a dilemma in any vision for a possible political solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. And so, Israel has always designed plans aimed at annexing the Holy City. To reach its goals, the Israeli government used a number of policies such as land confiscation, colonial expansion in addition to other schemes, last of which is the Israeli Segregation Wall.


On the 24th of September, 2001 Israel launched its segregation plan and declared vast areas of Palestinian land to be 'closed military areas'. The Israeli government started afterwards to confiscate the land and build the Wall that has a length of 620 kilometers and put a 3 Phases project for its implementation, Phase 1 was completed at the northwestern part of the West Bank in July 2003. Phase 2 is almost completed at the upper north of the West Bank and in December 2003, Israel started the implementation of Phase 3 of the plan.


'Beit Iksa', 'Beit Surik' and 'Beit 'Anan' are three Palestinian villages located to the west of Jerusalem in Ramallah governorate. Most of its residents depend totally on agriculture as the main source for their income and living. They used to reclaim their land and plant it with different kinds of vegetables before knowing that they will no longer possess it. According to ARIJ GIS database Beit 'Anan has a population of 4018 inhabitants, Beit Surik 3600 inhabitants and Beit Iksa 1479 inhabitants. The total population in these three villages is 9448 inhabitants.


In December 2003 the Israeli forces distributed military orders to confiscate about 340 of the land in the three villages under the pretext of security to construct the segregation wall in addition to their announcement of building a train line that will go through the villages and down to 'Mudein' settlement to the south of these villages where the train line will also connect Jerusalem with Tel-Aviv. It is worth mentioning that the construction of such a train line inside the Occupied Palestinian Territories under the current political circumstances is only s pretext to confiscate more and more of Palestinian land.


On 14 December 2003 the Israeli forces distributed other military orders to confiscate about 14 thousands dunums of Palestinian land under the pretext of constructing the Segregation Wall. In 'Beit 'Anan' and according to the military order given to the citizens, about 10,000 dunums will be confiscated and about 7,800 dunums of the land will be isolated behind the Wall. See military orders of Beit Anan





 Beit 'Anan military order

Most of the villagers own land in that area to be isolated and they won't be able to enter to the land and practice their daily farming activities. See Map of military orders




Signed in the middle of December 2003, military orders were also distributed in 'Beit Iksa' and 'Beit Surik' confirming the confiscation of more land in the area. According to the military order number 54/1, two alternatives were suggested by the Israeli forces to the citizens in both villages concerning the confiscation of their land. The order also gave the citizens a limited time to protest against it. See military orders of Beit Surik Surik and Beit Iksa






Beit Iksa and Beit Surik military orders

Consequently, after confiscating the land, many inhabitants will not be able to earn their living or even send their children to schools in the neighboring communities. It will also increase the poverty line in the area which will force the inhabitants to immigrate to other neighboring villages and communities. The wall will isolate the villages in small Ghettos restricting the inhabitants' freedom of movement.


As a reaction, the inhabitants called for some Human Rights organizations to interfere and stop the construction of the Wall and the confiscation of their lands. The Israeli policy of land confiscation is against all international laws and a Human Rights violation. The Palestinian inhabitants can no longer provide the right of proper housing for their families. The ever-growing list of Palestinians will soon suffer the loss of their land to the Israeli bulldozers due to the Israeli violations of seizing private properties, constructing the wall and segregating the Palestinian communities. 



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Prepared by:
The Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem



Categories: Military Orders