This is very much a follow-up to my previous post (q.v.) less than five months ago, whose celebratory tone has proved premature. It now appears that the Israeli military authorities have decided to ignore an April ruling by the nation’s High Court of Justice. That order called for the military to shelve their ill-conceived plan to mar the picturesque Cremisan Valley south of Jerusalem with further construction of the Separation Barrier, appropriating many acres of Palestinian-owned land in the process.
In short, the pointless, land-grabbing Wall is “on” again at Cremisan, starting with the uprooting of dozens of olive trees– some of them hundreds of years old– from Palestinian land in late August. Indeed, nothing could be more symbolic of the slow but inexorable uprooting of the Palestinian people themselves.
The renewed work on the wall serves as a reminder, if any were needed, that nothing is ‘final’ when it comes to orders of Israel’s High Court– which, in the end, has no enforcement powers– and that what ultimately rules in such instances is almost always the national ethos of Jewish settlement and Arab-Palestinian dispossession, not justice.
Here is a brand-new video report from the Franciscans’ Christian Media Center on the current situation (click on image below):
A report has appeared as well in Haaretz HERE. (It is, alas, ‘premium content’ residing behind their pay-wall; to view it, sign up for a free account.)
Although a new petition against the barrier has been filed, the Court has refused thus far to renew an injunction against the project, one that had remained in force for the past nine years.
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UPDATE on WALAJEH village / April 2016
In the adjacent Palestinian village of Walajeh, new draconian measures are underway as well as Israeli authorities have begun demolishing homes there for the first time. The village lies partly within Jerusalem’s self-declared municipal boundaries but also entirely beyond–actually surrounded by–the Separation barrier. The recent report in the online magazine 972+ is worth reading in its entirety. Explaining the profound, Catch 22-style injustice of the situation, the article states:
[T]he fact is that Israel created a reality in which the people of al-Walaja have no way of building legally. Despite the annexation to Jerusalem, the municipality has never once produced a master plan for the village, which prevents its residents from obtaining building permits.
The municipality rejected a master plan presented by the residents, along with Israeli NGO Bimkom and architect Claude Rosenkowitz. On the other hand, the state approved building in the adjacent Israeli settlement, Har Gilo, as well as the Jerusalem neighborhood of Gilo. Parts of both Har Gilo and Gilo are built on al-Walaja’s land.