Date: 02 December 2018
The Palestinian Center for Human Rights issued a special report on the violations against al-Walajah village, southwest of Jerusalem and north of Bethlehem. The report reviews the measures taken by the Israeli forces since the occupation of the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, in terms of issuing legislations aiming at imposing the Israeli law, confiscating lands, and establishing settlement projects in order to annex it to Israel.
The report, titled as “al-Walajah Village… under Settlement and Isolation,” reviews the settlement expansion projects in Bethlehem which strarted after the occupation of the West Bank. Moreover, the report also mentioned “Gush Etzion” settlement, which is one of the largest and first settlements established in the Palestinian territory after the 1967 war.
The report addressed the settlements surrounding al-Walajah Village as it is surrounded by “Gilo”, “Har Gilo”, “Jef’at Hamatos”, and “Har Homah” settlements, which were established on the Palestinian lands in al-Walajah, Beit Jala, Sharafat, and Beit Safafa villages. The report emphasizes that the Israeli authorities have targeted al-Walajah village since its occupation by confiscating many areas of its lands in favor of settlement projects under different pretexts such as building bypass roads, a railway, a metropolitan park, and the construction of the annexation wall on some of the village’s agricultural and pastoral lands. The Israeli authorities used a policy to tighten the screws against the village residents holding Jerusalem ID cards and paying Arnona tax. This policy includes large-scale demolition of houses and other civilian facilities and is accompanied with the authorities’ refusal to approve a structural plan for the village to reduce urban sprawl and built houses to meet the needs of the population growth in the village.