Israel continues razing Al Walajeh village lands for the Interest of the Israeli Segregation Wall

Israel continues razing Al Walajeh village lands for the Interest of the Israeli Segregation Wall
On May 24, 2010, the Israeli Army bulldozers protected by the Israeli Occupation Forces staged into ‘Ein Al-Juweiza neighborhood north of the village of Al Walajeh which is located at the northwestern terrains of Bethlehem Governorate, and stationed on 80 dunums of lands owned by Barghout family and started razing the land. The razing process resulted in the uprooting of more than 80 Olive trees and 40 fruit trees. Owners of the targeted lands are:
  • Mr. Ahmad Saleh Rasheed Barghout
  • Mr. Jamal Saleh Rasheed Barghout
  • Mr. Rasheed Hasan Rasheed Barghout
  • Mr. Mohammad Hasan Rasheed Barghout
  • Mr. Mahmud Hassan Rasheed Barghout
  • Mr. Mahmud Saleh Rasheed Barghout.

Map 1: The targeted lands in Al Walajeh Village

In an interview conducted by ARIJ field workers with Mr. Ahmad Saleh Barghout indicated that in the year 2006, the family received an Israeli military order notifying them that their lands had been confiscated to build the Illegal Israeli Segregation Wall in the area.
Pictures of the targeted lands during the razing process
Al Walajeh Village……… General Glance
Al Walajeh is one of the villages in Bethlehem Governorate, located about 4 kilometers northwest of Bethlehem city and 8.5 kilometers southwest of the city of Jerusalem. The village has a population of 2130 residents (PCBS 2010).
Al Walajeh is bordered by the Armistice Line of 1949 (Green Line) as well as the Segregation Wall from the north; the Illegal Israeli settlement of Har Gilo and the Segregation Wall from the south; the Illegal Israeli settlement of Gilo and the Segregation Wall from the east and the Israeli Segregation Wall from its west.
According to the Oslo II Interim agreement of 1995, Al Walajeh village’s lands, as well as the rest of the Palestinian Territory were divided into areas A, B and C. In Area A, the Palestinian National Authority has complete autonomy over administrative and security issues, where in area B, the Palestinians have civil responsibilities; while in Area C, Israel has full control over the security and administrative issues. See table 1
Table 1: Classification of Al Walajeh Lands According to Oslo II Interim Agreement of 1995
%from the total Village lands Area-Dunums Land Classification
0 0 Area A
2.6 113 Area B
97.4 4,216 Area C
100 4,329 Total
Source: Geographical Information System- ARIJ 2010
Trapped in an Enclave
Al Walajeh village is one of the Palestinian communities that is severely affected by the Israeli colonial activities, where the Illegal Israeli settlements of Gilo and Har Gilo have been built on large areas of the village’s lands; in addition to the systematic house demolition campaign which started after the 1967 war and is still running until this day, and finally by the construction of the Israeli Segregation Wall which stretches a length of 7.2 km on the village’s lands and encircles the village from its four sides where the only entrance for the village will be through a terminal
which will be built after completing the construction of the Segregation Wall in the village. See Table 2
Table 2: Illegal Israeli Settlements Built on Al Walajeh Village’s Lands
Settlement Name
Date of Establishment
Har Gilo
Source: Geographical Information System- ARIJ 2010
Map 2: The path of the Israeli Segregation Wall on lands of Al Walajeh village
To Conclude 
The existence of the Israeli Segregation Wall as well as the Illegal Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory is Illegal and contradicts with the International law rules and conventions such as:
The ICJ Advisory Opinion on the Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory in July 9, 2004. “The Court has reached the conclusion that the construction of the wall by Israel, the occupying power, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory including in and around East Jerusalem and its associated regime, is contrary to international law and has stated the legal consequences that are to be drawn from that illegality”.
Also “Israel is under an obligation to make reparation for all damage caused by the construction of the wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem.”
“All States are under an obligation not to recognize the illegal situation resulting from the construction of the wall and not to render aid or assistance in maintaining the situation created by such construction;  all States parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 12 August 1949 have in addition the obligation, while respecting the United Nations Charter and international law, to ensure compliance by Israel with international humanitarian law as embodied in that Convention.”
  • Article 53 & 147 of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 indicated that: Extensive destruction and appropriation of property not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly, is a grave breach of the Convention.
  • Moreover Art. 23 of the Hague Convention of 1907 also provides: In addition to the prohibitions provided by special Conventions, it is especially forbidden to destroy or seize the enemy’s property, unless such destruction or seizure be imperatively demanded by the necessities of war;
  • Also under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted and proclaimed by General Assembly resolution 217 a (III) of, December 10, 1948, Article 17 reads: ‘No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.’ Which means it bans Israel from destroying or confiscating the property of the Palestinians at any case.
[1] On February 19, 2006, the Israeli Occupation Forces issued a new military order number (25/06/T) to confiscate 39.8 dunums of lands from Al Walajeh Village and Beit Jala city, block 3 and block 2 respectively, for military purposes, mainly for the construction of a new Terminal in the area, ‘Har Gilo Terminal’ which will tighten the access of Al Walajeh residents into and out of the village. The military order is a complementary to the Israeli Segregation Wall plan which is being implemented on lands of the village. See section of Al Walajeh Village.

Prepared by 

 The Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem


Categories: Agriculture