A New Section of the Segregation Wall is being constructed in Azzun Atma

A New Section of the Segregation Wall is being constructed in Azzun Atma

Location and Population

The village of Azzun Atma is a Palestinian village that was occupied in 1967 and is located 3 kilometers away from the Green Line. Its population is about 1750 individual, 80% of whom work in the agriculture sector while 15% work inside Israel. The remaining population work in the Palestinian public sector and in commerce. The village total land area is 8081 dunums and its built up area is 798 dunums.


The village is surrounded by the settlement of Sha'ari Tiqva from both the eastern and northern directions (Sha'ari Tiqva was established in 1982, its population in 2004 was 3685, its built up area is 915 dunums and its municipal area is 1045 dunums- Source: Foundation For the Middle East Peace).  It confiscated more than 1000 dunums from the lands of the village as well as lands of the villages of Sinirya, Masha, Beit Amin and Al Zawiya.


(map 1: location of Azzun Atma and order number 78 )


The village is also surrounded from the western direction by the settlement of Oraniet which was established in 1984. In 2004, its total population was 5458, while its built up and municipal area is 878 dunums (Source: Foundation For the Middle East Peace).  This means that the village is besieged from three directions and it cannot be accessed except through the main gates of the settlements which are usually heavily guarded by either the occupation forces or the settlement security. No Palestinian is allowed through these gates except those holding special permits despite the fact that no Palestinian attacks ever took place against any of the two settlements.    


The Closure of Village Entrances:

Israeli occupation forces started to erect the first section of the Segregation Wall (from the village of Salem to the village of Masha) in the year 2002. As a result, the entirety of the village of Azzun Atma was isolated inside of the Wall and surrounded by barbwires and fences from all directions. 


At the end of October 2003 the Israeli military checkpoint operating at the gate located north of the Wall became fully functional and it became the main entry point to the village. Palestinians are allowed to cross through the gate between 6:00 AM and 10:00 PM in accordance with the Israeli conditions which allow residents of the village to cross without needing a special permit. As for non-residents, they are obligated to get special valid permits issued by the Israeli 'Civil' Administration to gain access to the village and work in their lands.


The Wall has significantly negatively impacted all aspects of life in Azzoun Atma as it (and the Israeli military procedures associated with it) prevented tens of Palestinian farmers and land owners from reaching their lands and made it difficult for the students to reach their school easily. Moreover, the Wall has impeded the continuation of social ties between families and relatives in the village and nearby villages under the guise of 'Israeli security.' We ask here what kind of security is that which prevents residents from living their normal life? What kind of security is that which prevents children less than 16 years of age from entering their village and place of residence unless accompanied with one of their parents or to bring a certificate that shows that he/she is a resident of the village? It's been documented on a number of occasions that a number of children below the age of 16 have been prevented from entering the village for more than an hour until one of their parents showed up with a piece of paper indicating that the child is actually residing in the village before he/she were released.


In addition, the Wall has brought with it great suffering and control over every aspect of Palestinian life 24 hours a day. For example, no Palestinian resident of Azzun Atma is allowed to transport any emergency medical cases out of the village after 10:00 PM. As such, a number of women gave birth at the gates of the village or while waiting in the car for the gate to open. In short, life in Azzun Atma in the shadow of the Wall has become a difficult nightmare.


(Photo 2: Azzun Atma- Qalqiliya: another anti Wall march)


Israeli Military Order Number 78  Calling for the Erection of the Wall South of the Village of Azzun Atma

On September 13th, 2006, the Israeli Commander of the Central Region issued a military order calling for the erection of a series of barbwires south of the village parallel to the old Trans Samaria Road starting from the entrance of the settlement of Oranit to the entrance of the settlement of Sha'ari Tekva. The length of the covered area is approximately 3,500 meters. In the case the Order is executed it would mean the inability of Azzun Atma's Palestinian residents to access their lands which will be isolated south and west of the barbwires. These lands are currently filled with Green Houses, olive and different type of fruit trees in addition to being used as grazing lands for sheep herds.



(Photos 3 & 4: a copy of military order number T/78/06 and attached map)


Negative Effects of the Order:

  • It will isolate an agricultural well that was established in 1958 and is being currently used for plants and sheep.

  • One of the neighborhoods of the village (located south of the village) will be totally isolated from the rest of the village. This neighborhood has been finding it increasingly difficult to reach other parts of the village since the year 2000 as no cars or animal-pulled carts were allowed in that part of the village. Residents of that section of the village would carry their food and daily necessities and walk on foot a distance of more than 200 meters to reach their homes.

  • About 1,800 dunums of the lands of Azzun Atma and Sinirya will be isolated behind the barbwire. These lands have Green Houses and olive trees.

  • About 1,100 dunums of the lands of Masha and Al Zaweiya will also be isolated. These lands are planted with olive trees.      

  • 800 dunums located west of the village near the Green Line will also be isolated. Part of this land will be located in the vicinity of the settlement of Oranit.

It is worth noting here that the term 'isolated' means that the land owner or those who have rented it would not be able to reach it except through a gate which Order 78 dictated its establishment.



In the case Military Order Number 78 is executed, it is expected that:

  • The entire village of Azzun Atma will be, in effect, besieged by the Wall from all directions.

  • Entering and leaving the village will be allowed only after checking the ID of the residents followed by a physical check using a special room that is equipped with special inspection devices.

  • An escalation of the suffering of the residents, the farmers as well as land owners as the Wall is NOT created for security reasons as claimed by Israel. It aims at controlling and expropriating the lands of the village in addition to fighting the citizens through their sources of income.



Prepared by
The Land Research Center

Categories: Separation Plans