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Christian Community to Be Divided By New Section of Israel's Wall

Society & Culture  (tags: Human Rights, abuse, world, Israel, Palestine, Palestinian Christians, Israeli wall, religion, freedoms, ethics, society, culture, rights, government, sadness, law, politics, humans, dishonesty, news )

- 1420 days ago -
Residents have fought legal battles against construction of the wall on their land for nearly a decade. In 2011, local Catholic leaders began holding public vigils every Friday, garnering international diplomatic and media attention.


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Carrie B (306)
Tuesday July 28, 2015, 9:59 pm

The Israeli high court ruled this month that the military can begin construction on a segment of Israel’s wall in the West Bank that will divide land belonging to the town of Beit Jala.

The news shocked residents who believed that a high court ruling in April this year blocked construction in that area while the army was ordered to find a less disruptive route.

If built as originally planned, the wall would have cut off the Cremisan Salesian monastery and convent from the rest of the Beit Jala community.

With this latest ruling, construction will proceed with only minor changes — still dividing the land while carving out a small enclave to keep the religious sites accessible.

Residents have fought legal battles against construction of the wall on their land for nearly a decade. In 2011, local Catholic leaders began holding public vigils every Friday, garnering international diplomatic and media attention.

Appeals were made to Pope Francis during his trip to Bethlehem last year and during a visit to the Vatican by Bethlehem Mayor Vera Baboun last February.

According to the Society of St. Yves, a Catholic center for human rights that has represented the convent, the court’s April ruling declared that the military’s original route “greatly harms and violates the rights of both the local community and the monasteries.”

The military was therefore ordered to put forward an alternative route that would reduce the damage to the local community and maintain its geographical integrity.

Siding with military
The military’s alternative route interpreted that ruling in the narrowest manner possible, maintaining access to the convent and monastery by carving out a small section around them, but still confiscating and dividing lands that are privately owned by Palestinian residents of Beit Jala.

“They [the military] claim that the previous supreme court order to stop building the wall months ago was not final and only prevented the army from coming near the property of the convents,” said Raed Abed Rabbo of the Applied Research Institute Jerusalem, a Palestinian group which has been active in the struggle against the wall. (Israel’s high court is also known as the supreme court.)

“We months ago reminded the authorities, the church and the municipality, after analyzing the court order, that it is not final so don’t be optimistic. Sooner or later they will start again,” he added.

International media had also trumpeted the April decision as a triumph for Beit Jala’s residents. Coming just days before Easter, it was particularly poignant news in the historically Christian village perched on the hill overlooking Bethlehem from the west.

The BBC quoted the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Fuad Twal, as saying at the time, “This is a victory for everyone.”

After the army submitted its alternative route, an application for an injunction to prevent construction was filed by lawyers representing residents. In this month’s ruling, the high court essentially sided with the military, giving the green light for construction to commence.

Two thirds of the wall’s planned route have been built. Gaps in the wall, like the one in Cremisan, debunk the Israeli claim that the wall has stopped suicide bombings.

Every day, tens of thousands of Palestinian workers lacking hard-to-get permits pass through the wall’s remaining gaps, indicating that, as former Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Arens told the Israeli newspaper Maariv, “It’s clear there is no connection between the wall and the cessation of attacks.”

The International Court of Justice ruled in 2004 that the construction of the wall in the occupied West Bank is contrary to international law. Some 85 percent of the wall’s path lies not on the internationally recognized boundary, or green line, with present-day Israel, but instead further divides land in the West Bank.

Father Ibrahim Shomali is a local Catholic priest who has led the weekly vigils. In Beit Jala, Shomali said, “the wall is being used to link the settlements of Gilo and Har Gilo, consolidating the Israeli annexation of our land.”

These two settlements already occupy 872 acres of Beit Jala land, according to the Beit Jala Municipality. Covering the hilltops on either side of the monastery, like all settlements in East Jerusalem and the rest of the West Bank, they too are considered illegal under international law.

With this latest setback, local activists are looking elsewhere for justice.

According to Beit Jala resident George Abu Eid, the high court’s ruling “is not surprising at all for those who have been living under this brutal military regime for a very long time. Obviously, Israel will never halt its colonial projects in the West Bank until there’s a real pressure and cost put on it.”

Abu Eid explained that the Palestinian-led boycott, divestment and sanctions movement today “should be the only response to Israel’s illegal policies. That’s how you stop it, that’s how you end its illegal military occupation of the Palestinians.”

Darren Woolsey (218)
Tuesday July 28, 2015, 11:21 pm
We humans love building walls, don't we. . . .

Past Member (0)
Wednesday July 29, 2015, 12:04 am
So much wall talk , especially from Trump.

Past Member (0)
Wednesday July 29, 2015, 12:05 am
Sorry. Thank you Carrie

Evelyn B (63)
Wednesday July 29, 2015, 5:39 am
And people were so happy Cremisan Monastery wins appeal in Israeli High Court: Route of Israeli Wall must be changed


So sad to hear this
Thanks, Carrie

(This reminds me of a very good documentary film by Georgi Lazarevski le Jardin de Jad - about an old people's home in East Jerusalem, gradually being cut off on all sides by the Wall - the impact on the workers, and on the residents whose families try to find their way in to visit ... Unfortunately, sub-titles are French, most talking in Arabic .... Jad is the gardener of the home. It is primarily about aging ... the challenges of the senior citizens who live in the home, the Wall is part of the challenges affecting the residents. Well worth watching if you understand Arabic or French.)

Carol R (11)
Wednesday July 29, 2015, 7:01 am
Steal, wall and build, then steal some more.... until there's nothing left. Thanks Carrie.

Justin Vale (13)
Wednesday July 29, 2015, 7:56 am
the day is soon dawning where the world will look back at zionists who build walls and they will feel wish they understood them better. the unholy trinity has formed. the king of the jews is coming. and walls defeat his purpose.

Justin Vale (13)
Wednesday July 29, 2015, 8:02 am
notice the israeli and turkey strikes against isis' enemies? pay attention.

Gillian M (11)
Wednesday July 29, 2015, 12:20 pm
Bob, carrie is only interested in anti-Semitism and the sites that have anti-Semitic articles are the ones that she uses.

Israel is the ONLY country in the Middle East that protects Christians. carrie has never condemned the ongoing genocide of Christians and other minorities by her fellow Muslims.

I have never seen any of her cohorts do so either. Hypocrisy?


Gillian M (11)
Wednesday July 29, 2015, 12:22 pm
By the way, no reputable website is picking up on this so is probably a load of lies and distortions.

Carrie B (306)
Wednesday July 29, 2015, 1:06 pm
This was posted from a reputable site. Most adults know that.

Carrie B (306)
Wednesday July 29, 2015, 1:26 pm
Personal opinions of non members are of no importance or value.

Carrie B (306)
Wednesday July 29, 2015, 1:53 pm
Opinions of non members is of no interest or value.

Sheryl G (359)
Wednesday July 29, 2015, 3:07 pm
Only fearful people build walls. Got our own wall going up, and it's the fearful people wanting it here in the United States that want it, while others understand why conditions started and solutions to fix it. But when the fear takes over people in fear scream the loudest so we have a stupid wall going up as well rather than fixing the issues so that a wall is not required.

The same people that can't play well with other people want walls between the ones who don't look like them, act like them, so on so forth. Fearful people fail to see the humanity in others who are not like them.

You can't build bridges with walls, walls separate and keep tensions and fears going. The Berlin Wall came down and now others want to build walls. If people would start attending concerts together, have community meals with each town bringing foods, people doing plays with each other you'd begin to mend the harshness between each other and start the healing process. Walls will only keep wars going.

Darren Woolsey (218)
Wednesday July 29, 2015, 3:22 pm
Usual automatic drivel posted by Bob and his army of clones.

Evelyn B (63)
Wednesday July 29, 2015, 4:02 pm
Only people who do not know the Middle East would believe that Israel is "the ONLY country in the Middle East that protects Christians."

Never heard of Lebanon? Jordan? and of course, Palestine ... but Occupied Territories are ignored by those who believe that the State of Israel can do no wrong, and that any who criticise policies & strategies of the Israeli government, & the actions of extremist settlers, must be anti-Semitic (or self-hating Jews) ....

And as for "protecting Christians" .... that's open to question ...
"Price Tag" attacks are all too frequent, often directed against Christians .... a recent example:
Sea of Galilee Church Where 'Jesus Fed 5,000,' Torched in Suspected Hate Attack
Such "price tag" attacks and similar aggressions of Christians were feared at the time of preparations for the Pope's visit last April (not without reason), and impacted on preparations ....

No - I wouldn't say Christians are particularly "protected" in Israel .... let alone in the Occupied Territories ... extremist settlers & Israeli right-wingers care no more for Christians than they do for Muslims .... except when they try to divide Palestinians by religion (an effort that generally fails .....)

And I certainly don't see how virtually isolating Cremisan from its Christian parishioners is "protecting Christians.

Evelyn B (63)
Wednesday July 29, 2015, 4:07 pm
Darren ... not very accurate!
Thank goodness they aren't clones of Bob. Some of them may be as ill-informed, but not quite as prone to persistent and obstinate errors of vocabulary!

Evelyn B (63)
Wednesday July 29, 2015, 4:47 pm
Carrie - let it go, the comments she is making are so vitriolic that only those who are committed to her support will take any notice ... if the comments she's trying to post even make it into the thread. pm deletion is easy :>)

Carrie B (306)
Wednesday July 29, 2015, 5:07 pm
Thank you. Evelyn.

Carrie B (306)
Wednesday July 29, 2015, 5:27 pm
The only agenda I see here Bob, is yours and Penny's against the truth. 'Past members' are non-entities.

Past Member (0)
Wednesday July 29, 2015, 9:59 pm
This is brutal. More+more all of Israel's actions are carbon copies of what was done to Jews in WW2. It's baffling. Whatever happened to never again said by so many jews...thx Carrie

Jim M (38)
Friday July 31, 2015, 1:28 am

Jim M (38)
Friday July 31, 2015, 1:29 am
thank you

Hugh Smith (112)
Friday July 31, 2015, 1:28 pm
After what these people went through back in WW2 how can they behave like they are doing ? It really beggars belief and leaves you with jaw dropping horror.

Arild Warud (174)
Saturday August 1, 2015, 7:29 am
Typical Zionist behaviour.

Past Member (0)
Wednesday January 20, 2016, 10:50 am
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