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The Wall

Posted on: January 22nd, 2014 by micheltraverse | No Comments
The Wall

The Wall

The Wall

Photos: Michel Traverse.

The concrete Wall is present in Bethlehem, parts of Ramallah, Qalqilya, parts of Tulkarm and throughout the Jerusalem envelope. It is 8 meters high – twice the height of the Berlin Wall – with watchtowers and a “buffer zone” 30-100 meters wide for electric fences, trenches, cameras, sensors, and military patrols. In other places, the Wall consists of layers of fencing and razor wire, military patrol roads, sand paths to trace footprints, ditches and surveillance cameras.

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34 fortified checkpoints – 3 main terminals, 9 commercial terminals, and 22 terminals for cars and workers that control all Palestinian movement.

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634 checkpoints or other military obstructions including trenches, roadblocks, metal gates under Occupation control.

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1,661 km of settler roads connect settlements and settlement blocs and complement the Wall system.

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In November 2000 Israeli Prime Minister Barak (Labour Party) approved the first project to build a “barrier”. Construction of the Wall, including land confiscation and the uprooting of trees, began in June 2002 west of Jenin.

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As of summer 2010, 520 km of the planned 810 km, or 64%, had been completed. Wall construction was slow for most of 2010 as a result of worries about the financial crisis and ongoing court cases. Instead of building new portions of the Wall, work focused on modifications in the areas of Bil’in, Jayyus and around Jerusalem.

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In the latter half of 2010, there was renewed work in Jerusalem where the focus was on closing gaps in certain areas. In Bethlehem, Wall construction has restarted in al Walaja village, where the village will be surrounded on all sides. Work is also ongoing in Beit Jala, where the Wall is being built along a settler road.

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According to Israeli military officials, the Wall’s total length will be some 810 km. The cost of the Wall is now estimated at $2.1 billion, and each km costs approximately $2 million. In addition, the Occupation has spent 2 billion shekels to construct alternative roads and tunnels.

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The Wall has destroyed a large amount of Palestinian farmland and usurped water supplies, including the biggest aquifer in the West Bank. 78 Palestinian villages and communities with a total population of 266,442 will be isolated as follows:

  • Villages isolated between Wall and Green Line – 8,557 Palestinians

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Villages surrounded by Wall, settlements and settler roads – 257,265 Palestinians.

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Villages isolated between Wall and Green Line – 8,557 Palestinians

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Villages isolated and residents threatened with expulsion – 6,314 Palestinians.

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