Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Images from Walajeh

There is nothing sadder than an arrested drum.

There are no butterflies in the ghetto.

Can you guess which are the good guys?

Updates from Walajeh

demonstrators in #walajeh being pushed up and away from construction site. Dangerously steep terrain.less than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet Reply

UN Security warning issued: "demonstration in Al-Walajeh staff advised to stay vigilant" #walajehless than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet Reply

#walajeh declared a closed military zoneless than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet Reply

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

PRESS RELEASE: Demo this morning in al-Walaja

Recently dozens of trees have been uprooted in al-Walaja in SW Jerusalem as the IDF is resuming preparatory work for the Wall there. Only a 5,000 year old olive tree, known locally as “The Badawi” [see photo below] will remain.
The case of the route of the wall in Walaja is scheduled for hearing in the Supreme Court on September 27, yet the IDF is creating facts on the ground that create a living ghetto (similar to Gaza, Qalqilya and neighbouring Bethlehem). A tunnel is even being built in the village to connect one family to the village, at an expense to Israeli/USA taxpayers of NIS 3 million. [Ch2TV News report: & ref. UNRWA’s 2010 mini-profile:]

A dozen Palestinian, Israeli and international activists were arrested at two demos recently in Walaja trying to prevent the uprooting of the village’s trees, so the Popular Committee of the village is preparing for a LARGE demo tomorrow, Wednesday, 8:00 a.m. Palestinian time which is 9:00 a.m. Israeli time. Grassroots Jerusalem, Combatants for Peace and the Anarchists Against the Wall are supporting the villagers’ struggle for justice and a future.

This non-violent demonstration is calling for respect for the law (the Supreme Court hearing) as well as calling for Israel to cease causing Palestinian homelessness and ongoing internal displacement as part of its settlement expansion programme.
For further details (cars are needed; but Palestinian bus 21 goes near), please call Sheerin al-Araj, Walaja Village Council member: 0522 054595 Eran Efrati, Israeli activist: 0528 504193 Amany Khalefa, Grassroots Jerusalem co-ordinator: 0503 913694

About Walajeh

The village of Al Walaja, 10km south of Jerusalem in the West Bank, is one of many communities in the West Bank affected by the route of the Israeli Barrier. With construction around the village having begun, residents face the threat of destroyed livelihoods, increased poverty and dependency on humanitarian aid. Some residents face the prospect of their homes soon being totally encircled.

To date, just over 60 per cent of the planned 709km Barrier has been constructed by Israel. The presence of the Barrier has had a devastating economic, social and psychological effect on communities in the West Bank, and is one of the main triggers of further displacement for already vulnerable refugees. In 2005, the International Court of Justice concluded in an advisory opinion that the route of the Barrier was illegal under international law.

Many Walaja residents have lost access to their land and agricultural resources because of the Israeli-built West Bank Barrier. The current planned route of the Barrier will completely encircle the village. In 2004, private investors announced plans to build a new settlement on Al Walaja land, known as Givat Yael. According to the plans - leaked in 2009 - the settlement will expropriate 60% of the remaining Al Walaja lands to build some 14,000 housing units.

Six years ago today the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled that Israel’s construction of the Barrier breaches international law. Despite the ruling, construction has continued, and to date 60 per cent of the Barrier’s planned route has been completed, with a further 10 per cent currently under construction.

Before the war of 1948, some 1,600 people lived in the village of Al Walaja. All of them were displaced by the war and ended up in the refugee camps of Shufat (Jerusalem) and Dheisheh (Bethlehem). Others moved to Jordan and Lebanon. About 100 villagers - 5-10 per cent of those who fled - settled on the Jordanian side of the Green Line, which became the new Al Walaja. Today, the population of ‘new’ Al Walaja numbers 2,040 individuals. Nearly all of these are registered refugees.


today will highlight hardships facing #walajeh as a result of the wall. Follow our live updates from todays demonstration.less than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet Reply