Analysis News

The Wall, 10 years on

It might be the biggest, most expensive and most influential construction project in Israel’s history. To mark the 10th anniversary of its inception, Haggai Matar writes an award-winning series of features about the separation wall: its history; arguments in favor and against its construction; its effects on the Palestinian population, the environment and the peace process; possible implications on regional politics in years to come; and more. Matar was awarded the 2012 Anna Lindh Mediterranean Journalist Award for the series. 

  • The Wall, 10 years on: part 9 / Dividing land - water, fauna, flora

    UNESCO is set to discuss the dangers facing Jerusalem's eco-systems, a new UNRWA report elaborates the harm caused to water sources and flora throughout the West Bank, and environmental NGOs warn of the impending extinction of several species – these are the wall's effects on mother nature. Project photography: Oren Ziv / Activestills An event of somewhat historic proportions is about to take place in Saint Petersburg in the coming days: for the first time ever, the annual UNESCO convention is to discuss a request to recognize a world heritage site that was put forward by the Palestinian Authority, which…

    Read More... | 7 Comments
  • The Wall, 10 years on / part 8: A working class under siege

     The wall was built to stop suicide bombers from entering Israel, so they say. But the people who do enter Israel on a daily basis are the tens of thousands of Palestinians who work here. Some go through hours of waiting at checkpoints, others climb the wall and risk injury or arrest – but all have experienced a dramatic change for the worse in their lives. Project photography: Oren Ziv / Activestills We arrive at Eyal checkpoint at 4:30 a.m. The sky is pitch black yet minivans packed with laborers are already passing us in the opposite direction on their…

    Read More... | 29 Comments
  • The Wall, 10 years on / part 7: A village turned prison

    There is no place quite like it in the entire West Bank. Residents of the village of Walajah petition the courts, demonstrate, initiate protest theater and music shows - yet still see the wall is expanding and surrounding them from all directions. Project photography: Oren Ziv / Activestills The last time I visited Walajah I left only in the late afternoon, around dusk. It was a Friday, and the car was going downhill towards the checkpoint into Jerusalem, a breathtaking view all around, when suddenly I saw tens of Palestinians carrying bags and walking in the opposite direction. At first…

    Read More... | 12 Comments
  • The Wall,10 years on / part 6: What has the struggle achieved?

    Commemorating 10 years since construction of the wall also means commemorating almost 10 years of the struggle against it, as described in the previous chapter. Just as we shall later examine what the wall has accomplished, one should also ask what exactly the struggle against it succeeded in doing, especially as so many people have paid such a high price for it, and most of it is still east of the Green Line. Project photography: Oren Ziv / Activestills The first and most obvious answer to this is simple: in many places, villages involved in the uprising were able to…

    Read More... | 6 Comments
  • The Wall, 10 years on / part 5: A new way of resistance

    Just as it is a story of suicide attacks, security, annexation, legal questions and political controversy – the story of the separation wall is also that of the popular, unarmed and joint struggle of Palestinians, Israelis and internationals against it. What started in September, 2002 as a small spontaneous action by a few farmers became the heart of Palestinian resistance to the occupation.   Project photography: Oren Ziv / Activestills I guess it's no coincidence that whenever I think of the beginning of the popular struggle against the wall I think of Gil Na'amati. The story of Na'amati, who was…

    Read More... | 10 Comments
  • The Wall, 10 years on / part 4: Trapped on the wrong side

    This is exactly the kind of thing that planners of the route hoped to avoid: having Palestinians who are barred from entering Israel trapped on the "Israeli" side of the fence. Yet in its long and winding route, the fence engulfs some 35,000 Palestinians who describe their new lives as a daily prison. Project Photography: Oren Ziv / Activestills March 2009. Residents of the small village Wadi a-Rasha in the Qalqiliya district have mixed feelings. On the one hand – their High Court victory is as precedent in the history of the wall - for the first time ever, construction…

    Read More... | 21 Comments
  • The Wall, 10 years on / Part 3: An acre here and an acre there

    When brought before the High Court, the state promised villagers free access to their lands through special gates to agricultural lands. As the years went by, the court and the public lost interest, the villagers' rights were ignored and their will to fight the system depleted. Land is being deserted, waiting for new settlements to be built.   Project photography: Oren Ziv / Activestills Theoretically, Dharifa Sharreb should be pleased. When the fence was built in Jayous in 2003, Sharreb's home was the only one on its western side, and it became completely isolated from the rest of the village.…

    Read More... | 3 Comments
  • The Wall, 10 years on / Part 2: Wall and Peace

    The official reason for construction of the wall was Israeli security. After reviewing the history of the route in the first chapter of this series, and before inquiring whether it achieved its stated goal, we come now to the question of the wall's effects on Palestinian society in the last decade. Chapter Two: the wall, the peace process, and Jerusalem. Project Photography: Oren Ziv / Activestills I was little more than 18 years of age when rumors of the planned wall in the West Bank started spreading in activist circles around me. As its annexing route became clear, so did…

    Read More... | 30 Comments
  • The Wall, 10 years on: The great Israeli project

    It might be the biggest, most expensive and most influential construction project in Israel's history. To mark the 10th anniversary of its inception, I will be publishing in coming days a series of stories about the separation wall and its history, arguments in favor and against its construction, its effects and side effects and an analysis of its possible implications on regional politics in years to come. Chapter one – the Israeli story of the wall. Project photography: Oren Ziv / Activestills Looking at it from here, for just one minute, the whole project of the wall appears to be nothing more…

    Read More... | 36 Comments
© 2010 - 2014 +972 Magazine
Follow Us
Credits

+972 is an independent, blog-based web magazine. It was launched in August 2010, resulting from a merger of a number of popular English-language blogs dealing with life and politics in Israel and Palestine.

Website empowered by RSVP

Illustrations: Eran Mendel