Jerusalem | Six-Day War in 1967 | Walls that bring ‘peace’ II | Residential Lives Under Separation
The construction of walls does not act as ‘a defensive barrier to prevent terrorists’ attack’ but also a tool that obstructs residents daily lives. This narrative would take Abu Dis, a suburb in East Jerusalem as a case for better illustration.
Abu Dis, a Palestinian neighbourhood located two kilometres from the Old City became a victim under the construction of wall. The wall is directed from Der Salah village and extend northward toward Abu Dis and eastward toward Ezariya. This seventeen-kilometer-long wall section has turned a 10 minute commute into a one-two hour expedition, making transportation very inconvenient to residents.
The wall penetrates straightly through the center of town. It separates 35 households from their immediate families on the other side. On that note, the wall construction creates residents’ identity disputes. Ten of these families hold West Bank IDs, yet their house falls on the ‘Israeli side’. It remains unknown whether the government would relocate them forcefully or grant them Israeli IDs. Several houses standing in the route of the wall planning were issued with demolition orders. Advised to sell the houses to the state, the homeowners refused the offer from the Jerusalem Municipality and petitioned the courts instead. Also, land and property disputes are also raised such as the Cliff Hotel owned by the Ayyad family of Abu Dis has been the focus of a legal dispute in the Israeli courts. The owners sued to halt expropriation of the hotel, built in the mid-1950s, for the construction of the West Bank barrier. In terms of economic concerns, the separation wall omitted 6000 dunums (6 sq. km) of agricultural lands from the area which forcefully make the residents lost a considerable share of their income.
The Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem – GIS Unit, 2012
- Bollens, Scott A. “Urban planning and intergroup conflict: Confronting a fractured public interest.” In Dialogues in urban and regional planning, pp. 225-262. Routledge, 2004.
- Klein, Menachem. “Old and new walls in Jerusalem.” Political geography 24, no. 1 (2005): 53-76.
- The Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem. Abu Dis Town Profile. 2012. Accessed by 25 December 2018. http://vprofile.arij.org/jerusalem/pdfs/vprofile/Abu%20Dis_EN.pdf
- Yiftachel, Oren, and Yacobi, Haim. “Barriers, Walls, And Urban Ethnocracy in Jerusalem” City of Collision (2006): 170-174.