JERUSALEM(2000-2017)/INFRASTRUCTURE AS POLITICAL TOOL : THE CASE OF LIGHT RAIL IN DIVIDING JERUSALEM IV RESISTANCE
The heavy presence of the light rail system has trigger the Palestinian to fight back as they see the tram as an oppression towards their people and a invasion to their home. The destruction of tram station during thees kind of protest is often violent. Apart from stones throwing, firework the protesters attacked the three light rail station in Shuafat, which are the only ones serving Palestinian areas of Jerusalem. Every conceivable surface of the station including the shelter the signage and ticket machine are smashed into pieces or dismantled. Stone pavement on the floor is taken out to be thrown at the Israel police and tram truck is set on fire. The protesters even attempted to cut off the electricity of the tram from the station poles.
(Local resistance from the Palestinian community)
The act by these protesters are symbolic more then merely vandalism as the light rail has penetrated their living area and even religious space, as a result more Jews are coming to the temple in the Palestinian area. The Jews believe that they have the right to visit these temple as they used to belong to them. Although they are not allow to pray or worship in there today as part of the agreement signed by both sides. The tram connects the Jewish settlement of Pisgat Ze’ev in the North of Jerusalem to the centre of the city and passes through Shuafat on the way. During the early planning stages of the tram, Palestinians strongly opposed its construction, much of which was carried out on occupied land.
The case of violent protest has proven that the light rail is a political pool of the Israel Government in the hope of penetrating into the territory of the Palestinian and in time, hoping the Palestinian to accept the transportation infrastructure hence claim more territory secretly. The resistance was aggressive at the beginning but as time passed by, the residents have no choice but to deal with it or even use it on a daily basics. Eventually, the urban fabric is connected and re-woven and it is an irreversible process.
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