The West Bank is divided into three administrative divisions as per the Oslo Accords. These divisions are:
Areas A: Areas under complete Palestinian security and civil (Palestinian Authority) control. This includes the major Palestinian cities and population centers. Outside of military operations and raids, there is limited Israeli presence in this area. This area makes up approximately 18% of the West Bank.
Areas B: Areas under Palestinian civil control, and Israeli security control. Many Palestinian villages and smaller population centers fall within this area. Areas B constitute approximately 21% of the West Bank.
Areas C: Areas under full Israeli civil and security control. Areas C constitute the majority of the West Bank making up approximately 61% of the land. It is in these areas where the majority of settler activity takes place.
So you see all those orange areas on the map? You see how large they are? All the Palestinians living there live under full Israeli control in every single aspect, yet are not Israeli citizens, and have 0 rights within Israel, while their settler neighbors are considered full Israeli citizens with the full array of rights.
If that’s not Apartheid, I don’t know what is.
Ramallah as seen from Deir Dibwan
What should be a 5-10~ minute drive has now been made into an hour long drive due to Israeli road-closures and road-segregation
Oh my god. I always knew they were close but I never realized how close. Fuck.
With the Israeli settlement Gilo covering a nearby hillside, a Palestinian priest leads an open air Catholic mass as a form of nonviolent resistance against the Israeli separation wall, Beit Jala, West Bank, October 4, 2013. If built as planned, he Israeli separation wall will divide Beit Jala land and separate a Catholic convent from a monastery, as well as cutting off access to village olive groves.
children looking from the car window, Jericho, Palestine
I decided to make this to try and shed light on the Israeli-enforced segregation of roads within the West Bank.
In the images of the map, the town on the right is my hometown of Deir Dibwan. On the left is Ramallah, the de facto capital of Palestine. The two are a little less than two miles apart. Two miles, not that far, right? Hell, there’s even a direct road joining the two!
Using the road joining the two cities, outlines in blue in the first picture, it’s a little over 5 minutes driving to get from one to the other.
Israel has, however, restricted access to the road for Palestinians in order to “protect” the illegal and racist Israeli settlement of Psagot, established on Palestinian-owned land, yet completely restricted to all Palestinians. The road is now exclusively reserved for Israeli settlers only, and any Palestinian vehicles found driving on the road are subject to arrest, or target practice by the settlers.
Because of this closure, Palestinians are forced to use a very complicated series of unmarked roads to reach Ramallah, which have been highlighted in green in the second picture.
In order for a Palestinian from Deir Dibwan [or any of the surrounding regions, including every town and city to the East and South of Deir Dibwan] to reach Ramallah now, they must drive through the Palestinian towns of Baytein, Ein Yabrud, Dura al-Qare, Jifna, Beir Zeit, Abu Qash, Surda, and Al-Bireh.
The road connecting Deir Dibwan to Ramallah is approximately 2 miles in length. The length of road Palestinians must now drive instead totals approximately 22 miles. What was originally a 5 minutes trip is now almost an hour long.
Ramallah houses most of the regions schools, as well as serving as a hub of jobs for those living within the Ramallah Governate. My brothers and I would drive an hour each way to get to school everyday, with frequent checkpoints often doubling that time. My brothers, as well as every other Palestinian in the region who goes to school in Ramallah, to this day continue to follow this same route to school daily.
Palestinians have, however, established a sort of “shortcut”, which I have highlighted in red in the second picture that cuts from Dura, through Jalazon, and into Al-Bireh.
This road has managed to cut down on the time it takes to get to Ramallah, making it around a 35 minute trip. The issue with this road, however, is that Israel deems it as an “illegal road”, and subjects it to frequent closures, despite the fact that it avoids any Israeli Settlement and is completely on Palestinian land, meaning that by taking this road, it may cut down on the amount of time it takes to get to Ramallah, or it may greatly increase it if the IDF happen to be in the area and turn cars around.
This is just one of countless segregated roads in the West Bank, with every road showin in yellow on the maps being off-limits to Palestinians. Israeli settlements have completely cut off Palestinian towns from one another. The cut-off is so severe that towns with historical ties have now grown so far apart to the point that they have developed their own dialects and accents.
“How does Israel know if a Palestinian is driving on an Israeli-only road?”
Israeli cars have yellow license plates
While Palestinian cars have green ones
So a green-plated car seen driving on an Israeli road is subject to being stopped and arrested, or simply shot at by Israeli settlers, while Israeli vehicles are allowed to drive on any roads they choose. They are allowed to enter Palestinian villages, while Palestinians are absolutely forbidden from even approaching Israeli settlements without the threat of being shot.
Israel: The only
country left practicing such a barbaric system of apartheiddemocracy in the Middle East!
So I’m finally headed to Hebron tomorrow, expect a [hopefully] massive picture spam shortly after I return
The pictures I included are of the fencing in Hebron that are in place to prevent Israeli Settlers from throwing their garbage and stones down onto Palestinians walking in the streets, as Hebron is unique in the fact that it is inhabited by both Palestinians and Israeli settlers.
This by no means indicates that there is any form of warm relations between the two, however.
Christmas tree in Ramallah, Palestine.
“Muslims hate Christians and don’t allow them to practice their religion in their countries!!!!”
Totally explains why the muslim government of Ramallah erected a giant Christmas tree smackdab in the center of Ramallah, right?
Palestinians Establish a new Village, Bab Alshams, in Area E1
250 Palestinian activists established the new village of Bab Alshams, on the lands of al-Tur, in an area referred to by Israel as E1
250 men and women from across Palestine establish this morning a new Palestinian village named “Bab Alshams” (Gate of the Sun). Tents were built in what Israel refers to as area E1 and equipment for long-term living was brought.
We, the sons and daughters of Palestine from all throughout the land, announce the establishment of Bab Alshams Village (Gate of the Sun). We the people, without permits from the occupation, without permission from anyone, sit here today because this is our land and it is our right to inhabit it.
A few months ago the Israeli government announced its intention to build about 4000 settlement housing units in the area Israel refers to as E1. E1 block is an area of about 13 square km that falls on confiscated Palestinian land East of Jerusalem between Ma’ale Adumim settlement, which lies on occupied West Bank Palestinian land, and Jerusalem. We will not remain silent as settlement expansion and confiscation of our land continues. Therefore we hereby establish the village of Bab Alshams to proclaim our faith in direct action and popular resistance. We declare that the village will stand steadfast until the owners of this land will get their right to build on their land.
The village’s name is taken from the novel, “Bab Alshams,” by Lebanese writer Elias Khoury. The book depicts the history of Palestine through a love story between a Palestinian man, Younis, and his wife Nahila. Younis leaves his wife to join the Palestinian resistance in Lebanon while Nahila remains steadfast in what remains of their village in the Galilee. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, Younis smuggles through Lebanon and back to the Galilee to meet his wife in the “Bab Alshams” cave, where she gives birth to their children. Younis returns to the resistance in Lebanon as his wife remains in Bab Al Shams.
Bab Alshams is the gate to our freedom and steadfastness. Bab Alshams is our gate to Jerusalem. Bab Alshams is the gate to our to our return.
For decades, Israel has established facts on the ground as the International community remained silent in response to these violations. The time has come now to change the rules of the game, for us to establish facts on the ground - our own land. This action involving women and men from the north to the south is a form of popular resistance. In the coming days we will hold various discussion groups, educational and artistic presentations, as well as film screenings on the lands of this village. The residents of Bab Al Shams invite all the sons and daughters of our people to participate and join the village in supporting our resilience
As expected, Israel handed the Palestinians an eviction notice, despite the fact that they built on their own land — Palestine.
Photographs: The first tents of Bab Alshams are put up; Palestinians pray the first Friday prayer of their new village (Oren Ziv / Activestills)
Banksy’s Christmas Card
‘If Jesus were to come this year, Bethlehem would be closed’
If Joseph and Mary were making their way to Bethlehem today, the Christmas story would be a little different, says Father Ibrahim Shomali, a parish priest in the town. The couple would struggle to get into the city, let alone find a hotel room.
“If Jesus were to come this year, Bethlehem would be closed,” says the priest of Bethlehem’s Beit Jala parish. “He would either have to be born at a checkpoint or at the separation wall. Mary and Joseph would have needed Israeli permission – or to have been tourists.
“This really is the big problem for Palestinians in Bethlehem: what will happen when they close us off completely?”
Since the writing of the above article, Israel has authorized the construction of more than 2,600 homes in Givat Hamatos which means that for the first time in the 2,000 year history of Christianity, Bethlehem and Jerusalem will be completely cut off by illegal Israeli settlements. Bethlehem is now surrounded by 22 settlements, all built on stolen Palestinian land.
More than 170,000 Palestinian Christians live under Israeli occupation in the West Bank, without proper political representation, freedom of travel, equality before the law, and many other civil and human rights. The occupation does discriminate between Christians and Muslims — they both suffer the same.
Christians should be outraged about this.