+972 Magazine's Stories of the Week

Directly In Your Inbox

Analysis News
Visit our Hebrew site, "Local Call" , in partnership with Just Vision.

Palestinians reopen East Jerusalem road to protest land-grab

Last week, the Israel Nature and Parks Authority (INPA) began work on its plan to construct a new “national park” in the middle of Issawiya, a Palestinian neighborhood in East Jerusalem adjacent to Hebrew University. Israeli activists joined Palestinian residents to unblock the road sealed off by Israeli authorities earlier this week.

Israelis and Palestinians unblocking road in Issawiya on Friday January 20, 2012 (photo: Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity)

By Moriel Rothman

Issawiya, East Jerusalem– On Friday morning, around thirty Israeli Jews joined Palestinian residents of Issawiya in an attempt to clear a road leading out of Issawiya that was blocked last week by the Israel Nature and Parks Authority. Together, we worked with shovels, picks, and bare hands to break down the pile of rubble blocking the path.

Following a petition submitted by the Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity Movement to the Jerusalem Municipality, the construction work was frozen, but much of the damage has already been done. The INPA, a governmental body charged with the protection of nature, landscape and heritage in Israel, destroyed a road and piled the rubble in a way that would prevent the residents of that part of Issawiya to travel on this road.

“They destroyed and blocked off a road, we will reopen it.”

Clearly, the INPA has the advantage of powerful tools and the backing of a state whose mechanisms explicitly favor Jewish settlement over the basic rights of Palestinian residents. But as we stood there, struggling to move the pile of rubble with our hands and shovels, it was clear that we also have an advantage: the advantage of being right.

Moriel Rothman is an American-Israeli writer and activist. He lives in Jerusalem, and is active with Rabbis for Human Rights and the Solidarity Movement.

Before you go...

A lot of work goes into creating articles like the one you just read. And while we don’t do this for the money, even our model of non-profit, independent journalism has bills to pay.

+972 Magazine is owned by our bloggers and journalists, who are driven by passion and dedication to the causes we cover. But we still need to pay for editing, photography, translation, web design and servers, legal services, and more.

As an independent journalism outlet we aren’t beholden to any outside interests. In order to safeguard that independence voice, we are proud to count you, our readers, as our most important supporters. If each of our readers becomes a supporter of our work, +972 Magazine will remain a strong, independent, and sustainable force helping drive the discourse on Israel/Palestine in the right direction.

Support independent journalism in Israel/Palestine Donate to +972 Magazine today
View article: AAA
Share article
Print article

    * Required


    1. Menil

      It was a great activity today. It was great to meet the residents of Issawiya and work with them to remove the physical obstacles that Israel puts up in an attempt to make their day-to-day life miserable and break their spirit. The spirit of the joint struggle won’t be broken!
      More photos here: http://t.co/vBDt13lu

      Reply to Comment
    2. Seth Morrison

      My compliments to those participating, wish I could have been there to help.

      Reply to Comment
    3. AYLA

      Moriel/RHR/et al: thank you for your good, important work. Must feel hope-making, too, for the Israelis and Palestinians involved in joint struggle. This is exactly the kind of action I’m game for–hope to join you soon. Clearing the path, indeed.

      Reply to Comment

The stories that matter.
The missing context.
All in one weekly email.

Subscribe to +972's newsletter