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4) The Tour is narrated. If you do not have audio set up, you can follow the text below.
Welcome to Al HaqÕs Virtual Field Visit on the Annexation Wall and its associated regime.
The Green line is the 1967 border, which is internationally accepted as the boundary between Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory. The blue line is the Annexation Wall with the yellow sections in the planning stage and the red sections currently under construction.
The Wall deviates extensively from the path of the Green Line, at some points as much as 22 kilometres.
If the current plans for the construction of the Wall are completed, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians will be living between the Green Line and the Wall, in the so-called Seam Zone, including approximately 250,000 residents of East Jerusalem.
An even greater number of Israeli citizens, living in over a hundred illegal settlements constructed inside the OPT (including 192,000 settlers living in East Jerusalem) will find themselves on the western side of the Wall, fully integrated, in practice, into the State of Israel.
The illegal settlements are shown on the map with the blue flags and Palestinian communities with red house icons.
Construction continues (1:10)
Seven years after initial construction began the Wall is still being built, with the length expected to reach 723km.
Costing the Israeli taxpayer over $2 Billion, the Annexation Wall is a dramatic symbol of intolerance and exclusion and is effectively yet another means of annexing West Bank land.
Built of high concrete slabs and razor wire, surveillance cameras and checkpoints, the Annexation Wall cuts through Palestinian villages, lands and communities and creates severe restrictions on freedom of movement, trade, access to health, education and livelihoods.
This tour will highlight some of the human rights violations caused by the Wall and focus on how two families in particular have been affected.
Bethlehem Area (1:57)
This map shows how the Annexation Wall has been built in such a way that expropriates land from within the West Bank for the construction of settlements. When completed, only 13% of the Wall will be built on the Green Line, with the remaining 87% built on West Bank land.
This deviation from the path of the Green Line exposes the 'security' justification of the Wall as a myth designed to obscure Israel's deliberate and systematic policy of annexation of land and water resources.
The blue flags show where the settlements have been built between the 1967 line and the Annexation Wall. There are at least 149 settlements in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, despite their illegality under international law.
Over the past six years, residents of Bethlehem have had to live with the concrete wall up to 10 metres high surrounding the northern part of the city, almost entirely closing off nearby Jerusalem.
The Wall cuts off the town from the farmland to the North, depriving many of the residents of their livelihoods. While residents are reliant on a sequence of gates and checkpoints to cross into their land only meters away, Israeli settlers enjoy access to bypass roads connecting the settlements in the area.
Palestinians who remain trapped between the Wall and the Green Line are forced to spend hours every day passing through checkpoints in order to enter Bethlehem.
Israeli-issued permits are essential for crossing the complex network of gates and checkpoints, restricting Palestinians freedom of movement.
These permits are a particular obstacle for farmers whose land now lies suffocated between the Green Line and the Wall. They must apply for a ÒvisitorÓ permit to access their own land.
RachelÕs Tomb (3:50)
The neighbourhood around Rachel's Tomb - the acclaimed burial spot of the Old Testament matriarch, has been carved up by the Wall, designed to control access to the site for tourists coming from Israel.
This has resulted in the home of the Anistas family being surrounded on three sides by a 12m high concrete wall. Their every move is monitored using CCTV cameras and their friends and family are afraid to visit.
The Wall has been built very close to the house allowing little sunlight to reach it. The Anistas family have been warned by Israeli soldiers that if they go on their roof they will be shot.
Similar threats have been made against the children forbidding them from playing in front of the house.
Part 2 (4:36)
We will now see how the lives of another family, living in the Qalqilya area, north of Jerusalem have been even more gravely affected by the AnnexationWall.
Slide 8a – Qalqilya Area (4:53)
As you can see this section of the Wall was clearly designed to appropriate land for settlements. The Palestinian village of Mas'ha has been particularly affected by their construction.
When the Wall is completed nearly 95% of the village's land will have been expropriated or partitioned by the Wall. As the map shows, Mas'ha and the neighbouring villages will be completely cut off from the rest of the West Bank, except for a narrow corridor to the East.
Slide 9 – Elkana Settlement (5:18)
The construction of the Elkana settlement in the late 1970s initially took about 2,000 dunums of MasÕha land. The construction of the Annexation Wall appropriated even more land for the settlement; fertile land planted with olive trees or cultivated with vegetables and greenhouses.
Amer Home (5:35)
The absurdity of IsraelÕs discriminatory and exclusionist policies is exemplified in the case of the Amer family. In 2003 they were told their house was to be demolished so that the Annexation Wall could be built on their lands.
When they refused, the Wall was constructed on three sides of their home, cutting the family off from MasÕha village and from the settlement of Elkana.
The Amer family have been harassed and threatened by the Israeli military and by settlers and have had their property destroyed on several occasions in an effort to force them to leave their home.
Recently they have had windows and solar panels broken by stones thrown by settlers and one of their sons was beaten by an Israeli soldier.
This gate is the only point of entry to the family's home. When the gate was first installed the family were told that would have access for only 15mins each day. The family refused and following a protracted fight with the Israeli authorities were eventually given the key to gate.
Military Road (6:26)
This gate to the South is controlled by the Israeli military and leads to the land annexed by the Wall. Military vehicles pass through this gate and along the road metres from the Amer home on a daily basis.
Harassment form settlers (6:42)
This is the entrance to the Elkana settlement. The Amer family suffer from routine abuse and harassment from the settlers whose homes overlook their house.
The family own agricultural land on the other side of the settlement however they are not permitted to pass through this gate. They must travel a long distance around the village making it very difficult to maintain the land.
Like so many other Palestinian families and communities in this area between the Annexation Wall and the Green Line, the Amer family finds itself in unwitting defiance of the entire expansionist policy of the Israeli state.
As this Tour has shown the building of the Wall on Palestinian land; the severe restrictions on movement resulting in loss of livelihoods; and the expansion of the settlements, are tactics being employed by the Israeli Occupying Power to fragment Palestinian existence in the area.
Al Haq have recorded short films about the Anistas and Amer familes. When the tour has finished click on the Video buttons at the top to watch them. Alternatively, they are available to view on our Youtube channel.
Read Al-HaqÕs report (7:36)
For more detailed information about the Annexation Wall and its associated regime, including a legal analysis, click the report button and follow the link.
The End (6:08)
Thank you for taking the time to watch this Tour. To see more of Al-HaqÕs Virtual Field Visits click the button in the menu bar at the top of the page. You can also follow Al-Haq on Facebook and Twitter.