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Occupation magazine - Life under occupation

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What can be seen after a 5 minute drive from the Jerusalem Zoo
MachsomWatch report on the village of Walaje

By Nina Mayorek

We went to see if the renewed `peace process` created by a new relationship between Israeli Government and the Palestinian Authority has any implications on our neighbors in the Walaje village (5 min drive from Jerusalem ZOO).

It is worthwhile to go and see with your own eyes how ethnic cleansing of Palestinians is executed. I will just describe what we saw today.

We saw a young blind and mentally challenged man who(together with his parents and siblings) was expelled from his home which was `too close` to an army checkpoint or to the railway tracks. We saw this house into which the family is forbidden to enter. His father managed to build a small house for the family which was recently destroyed, because it was built without permit, which is never given to Walaje Palestinians, and this young man with a big stick walked around the village and shouted.

We saw many rubble-piles - remains of destroyed houses. Nearly every house in this part of the village is under threat of a house demolition. We were told that just few days ago an official from Jerusalem municipality arrived and told people that all chicken and sheep pens (main income of people) have to be destroyed.
We saw young men sitting outside with no work to do. Their village was annexed to Jerusalem - but without them! so they are all illegal squatters in their own homes because of their Palestinian IDs.
We saw a blocked road leading to Beit Jalla through Cremisan. The only way to go to the hospital is through the checkpoint at Beit Jalla.. After 7 pm there is no way to seek emergency help, because the checkpoint is closed. There was a case of a death from heart attack of a 40 years old man - he was not allowed to pass through the checkpoint on his way to a hospital in Bethlehem. Going to Hadassah hospital which is within 10 min drive is out of question - Walaje people are not allowed to enter Jerusalem.

We saw a border police jeep chasing a car. This is a tool for everyday use to harass people. The chances that a driver has a wrong license, a wrong passenger , a wrong ID are so big that it does not require a special creativity to find a way to hassle and to humiliate people.

We were stopped by a flying checkpoint at the entrance to the village. When we entered the village at 7:45 AM nobody was there, but 12 o`clock at noon was a right time to pester passengers of a bus which circulates between the village and Bethlehem.

Citizens of the village asked us to write that they are happy to see Israelis who take interest in their fate. They also want that their young generation will learn that there is different kind of Israelis.
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