The cruellest cuts


July 12, 2013
Sarah Benton
Tags: ,


This diagram of the wall being constructed in the Bethlehem/Jerusalem area was produced by the BBC to show how the monastery and nunnery of Beit Jala were being separated from each other and from the villagers who rely on the religious houses for education for their children and for trade. The justification for the wall is to protect Israelis from terrorist attack – including, presumably, by Christian nuns and monks. See Bethlehem nuns in West Bank barrier battle, May 2012

The Humanitarian Impact of the Barrier

Report from OCHA. To read the full report and see the diagrams click the headline above.
July 2013

KEY FACTS
� The Barrier consists of concrete walls, fences, ditches, razor wire, groomed sand paths, an electronic monitoring system, patrol roads, and a buffer zone.

� The Barrier’s total length (constructed and projected) is approximately 712 km, more than twice the length of the 1949 Armistice (“Green”) Line.

� Approximately 62% of the Barrier’s approved route is complete, a further 10% is under construction and 28% is planned but not yet constructed.

� Some 85% of the Barrier’s route runs inside the West Bank, rather than along the Green Line; if completed as planned, the Barrier will isolate 9.4% of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

� Nearly half of the Israeli settlements in the West Bank (71 out of 150) and over 85% of the settler population
are located in the area between the Green Line and the Barrier’s route.

� Around 11,000 Palestinians living in 32 communities located between the Barrier and the Green Line (hereafter:
behind the Barrier), depend on the granting of permits or special arrangements to live in their own homes.

� In 2013, a rerouting of a section the Barrier near Tulkarm was completed, allowing 350 people in the Khirbet
Jubara community free access to the rest of the West Bank.

� Palestinians with West Bank ID cards who are granted special permits can enter East Jerusalem through four of the 14 Barrier checkpoints around the city.

� Approximately 150 Palestinian communities have land located behind the Barrier, forcing residents to seek special permits or ‘prior coordination’ to access it.

� Access to agricultural land through the Barrier is channelled through 74 gates, the majority of which (52) only open during the olive harvest (October-December).

� Despite the presence of the Barrier, between January and March 2013 at least 14,000 Palestinians without the required permits smuggled themselves every day into Israel to look for employment (PCBS).

1. In 2002, the Government of Israel decided to build a Barrier with the stated aim of preventing violent attacks by Palestinians inside Israel. However, the vast majority of the Barrier’s route is located within the West Bank, separating Palestinian communities and farming land from the rest of the West Bank and contributing to the fragmentation of the oPt. The inclusion of Israeli settlements behind the Barrier is the single most important factor behind the deviation of the route from the Green Line.

2. The Barrier has reduced the access of Palestinians living in communities located behind the Barrier to workplaces and essential services. To continue living in their own homes and to maintain family and social relations with the rest of the West Bank they must obtain permits or “prior coordination” and pass through Barrier checkpoints. Access of service providers to these communities, including ambulances and fire brigades, has been impaired.

3. Agriculture-based livelihoods of thousands of families have been undermined due to the permit and gate regime, which restrict access to farmland behind the Barrier. Permit applications are regularly rejected on grounds that farmers failed to prove their “connection to the land” to the satisfaction of the Israeli authorities, as well as on security grounds.

The limited opening of the agricultural gates has forced permit-holders to stop cultivation or to shift from labour intensive to rain-fed and low-value crops.

4. The Barrier has transformed the geography, economy and social life of Palestinians living in East Jerusalem, as well as the life of those residing in the wider metropolitan area. Neighbourhoods, suburbs and families have been divided from each other from the urban centre, and rural communities separated from their land in the Jerusalem periphery.

5. In its 2004 Advisory Opinion, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) established that the sections of the Barrier which run inside the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, together with the associated gate and permit regime, violate Israel’s obligations under international law. The ICJ called on Israel to cease construction of the Barrier, dismantle the sections already completed, and repeal all legislative measures related to the Barrier.

The Barta’a Enclave
Eight communities (approximately 6,000 people) have been separated by the Barrier from their service centre in Jenin. This has also impeded access of humanitarian and Civil Defense staff in emergencies, due to delays and searches at the Barrier checkpoint.

Qalqiliya
A survey in part of the Qalqiliya district showed that the number of Palestinian greenhouses on the area behind the Barrier declined from 247 in 2003 to 149 in 2010, undermining agricultural livelihoods.

Jerusalem: Kafr ‘Aqab
Construction of the Barrier in the Jerusalem area has resulted in the physical separation of a few Palestinian neighbourhoods of East Jerusalem, such as Kafr ‘Aqab, from the urban centre. Residents suffer from impeded access to services on the ‘Jerusalem’ side of the Barrier, the lack of municipal services in situ, a security vacuum and increasing lawlessness and crime.

Bethlehem
The completion of the Barrier in western Bethlehem will sever the urban area from its agricultural lands. It will also reduce access of over 23,000 residents in nine Palestinian communities to Bethlehem City, the major services centre for health, education, markets and trade. Farmers who need to access their land behind the Barrier are required to apply for ‘visitor permits’, with many rejected for ‘security reasons’ or a lack of ‘connection to the land’.

Tulkarm: Rate of approvals of permit applications
Farmers who need to access their land behind the Barrier are required to apply for ‘visitor permits’, with many rejected for ‘security reasons’ or a lack of ‘connection to the land’.

Undermining agricultural livelihoods
A satellite survey of the Barrier’s impact in part of the Tulkarm and Qalqiliya districts showed that the number of Palestinian greenhouses on the ‘Israeli’ side of the Barrier declined from 247 in 2003 to 149 in 2010.

P. O. Box 38712 East Jerusalem 91386 l tel. +972 (0)2 582 9962 l fax +972 (0)2 582 5841 l ochaopt@un.org l www.ochaopt.org

© Copyright JFJFP 2017