Plowing Palestinian Lands in Al Walaja – Bethlehem Governorate

Plowing Palestinian Lands in Al Walaja – Bethlehem Governorate
Violation: plowing a 100-meter-long sector of land in preparation for the construction of the segregation wall.
Location: Al Walaja – Bethlehem.
Date: July 26, 2011.
Perpetrators: the Israeli Occupation Ministry of Defence.
Victims: Mohammad al Atrash, Muhye al Atrash, and Abdullah Rabah.

Since 1948, Al Walaja has been set as a target by the Israeli Occupation which was keen to capture the village and expel its residents.
In 1948, the village was 17793 dunums in area; the number was reduced back then to 6000 dunums only after the armistice agreement with the Jordanian side.
In 1996, 500 dunums were confiscated for the milling of a by-pass road that is rarely used these days. Moreover, around 1000 dunums were confiscated between 1969 and 1997 for the construction of Gilo colony to the north; as a consequence, the village total area nowadays is around 4800 dunums.
The Israeli have acquired al Walaja as a target for placing around 13600 residential units in a new colony; the projected colony is supposed to connect ‘West Jerusalem’ with Ezyon colony located southern Bethlehem.
Picture 1-2: targeted lands
Al Walaja is known for its hilly landscape; the highest mountain in the village, known as Miskri, overlooks the Occupied City of Jerusalem. There are a lot of caves in the mountains that were used in the past to store various crops. The village was totally dependant on agriculture in its income before the Israeli invasion.
On July 26, 2011, Israelis bulldozed a 100-meter-long section of land for the sake of building a section of the segregation wall.
The plowings took away 22 pine trees and one olive tree among others. In addition, the Israeli Occupation Department of Antiques has been inspecting the plowed lands. The wall route has been decided on now and plowings are being done to serve the purpose of executing the construction schematics.
The plowings were extremely provocative for the owners, villagers, and some activists who were protesting against the Israeli actions.
The protests developed into clashes and Israeli troops brutally intervened, arresting 3 Palestinians and a number of foreign consolidators.They were all baled out.The villagers are wary of the drastic consequences of the wall itself and the construction process. The construction, plowings, drillings, etc are causing the spread of dust and dirt all around.


Categories: Separation Plans