Days Of Palestine – Bethlehem
Israeli occupation bulldozers on Thursday morning razed two roads in the village of al-Walaja, located to the west of the southern West Bank city of Bethlehem.
WAFA news agency correspondent said that Israeli forces stormed Ein Jowaize area in the village and cordoned it off, before bulldozers razed two roads
Soldiers also handed a local resident, identified as Walid Mahmoud al-Atrash, an order, notifying him of the imminent destruction of his recently-reclaimed land, which occupies an area of 600 square meters.
Al-Atrash noted that soldiers plan to tear down the retaining walls surrounding his plot of land and uproot his saplings with no clear reason.
Located at a horizontal distance of 5 kilometers to the west of Bethlehem, al-Walaja has a population of some 2,800 and occupies a total area of 4,328 dunams.
Under the Oslo Accords, an agreement made 25 years ago that was supposed to last just five years towards a self-governing country alongside Israel, the Palestinian Authority was given ed control over a small pocket of land occupying 113 dunams and accounting for only 2.6 percent of the village’s total area. This area is classified as Area B. In contrast, Israel maintains control over the remainder, classified as Area C.
An area of 4,209 dunams of the village, accounting for 97 percent, is completely isolated by the section of Israel’s apartheid wall. The majority of this land is agricultural land, forests and open spaces.
The village is flanked by two Israeli colonial settlements; Gilo from the east and Har Gilo from the south.
Using the pretext of illegal building, Israel demolishes houses on a regular basis to restrict Palestinian expansion in occupied Jerusalem.
At the same time, the municipality and government build tens of thousands of housing units in illegal settlements for Jews with a goal to offset the demographic balance in favor of the Jewish settlers in the occupied city of Jerusalem.
Israel refuses to permit virtually any Palestinian construction in Area C, which constitutes 60 percent of the occupied West Bank and falls under full Israeli military rule, forcing residents to build without obtaining rarely-granted permits to provide shelters for their families.
In contrast, Israel much more easily gives the estimated 550,000 Jewish Israeli settlers there building permits and provides them with roads, electricity, water and sewage systems that remain inaccessible to many neighboring Palestinians.