Sunday, Oct 23rd

Last update05:20:13 AM GMT

You are here News Human Rights A Village Under Siege in the West Bank

A Village Under Siege in the West Bank

E-mail Print PDF

Village under siege in the West BankOver the past five years (since I first reported from Wadi Fukin), Manasra said the situation in his town has deteriorated considerably. Beitar Illit has the highest birthrate of any settlement in the West Bank and currently houses more than 40,000 ultra-orthodox settlers. It has grown by more than 10,000 people since 2006, and planners say it's expected to house 100,000 residents, dwarfing Wadi Fukin (population 1,200) and other nearby Palestinian towns.

It is often the men from Wadi Fukin who run the jackhammers and build the settlement's multistory houses. Cheap Israeli produce has flooded the Palestinian markets, putting farmers in this verdant valley out of business and pushing them into construction jobs.

"At the end of the day people need money…and the only available source of income to be seen for Wadi Fukin and maybe many communities around it is work inside the settlements themselves—building these same settlements that suffocate them," said Suhail Khalilieh, who heads the Settlements Monitoring Department at the Applied Research Institute-Jerusalem.

Back in 2006 residents feared their town would soon be surrounded by Israel's separation wall, cutting them off from the rest of the West Bank. While the town is not surrounded yet, one important section of the wall has been built. A concrete barrier erected in the town of al-Khader now divides Wadi Fukin from the nearby city of Bethlehem, which residents rely on for food, school, and health care.

A mass exodus of the town's young people also remains a constant fear. Five years ago Yousef Manasra said he worried the younger generation would grow tired of navigating the restrictions imposed by the occupation and move farther into the West Bank, leaving the town to slowly die off.


Most Recent Related Stories...

Human Rights Abuses Escalate at DAPL Prayer Services in North Dakota

Human rights abuses at Dakota prayerThe photo Winona LaDuke references is stunning because of the brutality it conveys. A 19- year-old...

South Africa to quit International Criminal Court

S Africa to quit ICCSouth Africa is pulling out of the International Criminal Court (ICC) because its obligations are inconsistent...

Appellate Court Reinstates Abu Ghraib Torture Lawsuit Against Private Military Contractor

Abu Ghraib trial reinstatedToday, a panel of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated a lawsuit against private military...

United Kingdom to pardon thousands of men convicted under anti-gay laws

UK pardons men jailed for being gayThousands of gay and bisexual men convicted decades ago under a law that criminalized same-sex relationships...
America's # 1 Enemy
Tee Shirt
& Help Support!
TVNL Tee Shirt
Conserve our Planet
& Help Support!
Get your 9/11 & Media
Deception Dollars
& Help Support!
The Loaded Deck
The First & the Best!
The Media & Bush Admin Exposed!