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Palestinian Territories: Israeli Wall

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Israeli Wall | Palestinian Territories | Asia

[Visited: May 2008]

As we had no idea where to find the Wall, we chartered a taxi. This was not easy, as the driver was not at all sure what we were looking for, and we failed to explain a wall with our hands. Eventually, the mystery was solved, and off we went. After less than five minutes, an ugly, grey 8 metres high concrete construction rose on our left hand side. The taxi driver had understood - we had arrived. The Wall. Meandering through the landscape, the monstrous Israeli Wall snakes its way around houses and roads, and it is therefore possible to walk along it for long stretches. From atop hills, you can see how the wall doubles and twists, until it disappears in the distance. A new and highly controversial step in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the construction carries different names: the Israelis call it the Security Barrier, while the Palestinians label it the Apartheid Wall.

Picture of Israeli Wall (Palestinian Territories): High wall and watchtower near Bethlehem

To protect itself against Palestinian suicide attacks, Israel started constructing the Israeli Wall around the Westbank in the early 21st century. Even though this decision has been labeled as illegal according to international law, construction still continues. Looking at the map, it is clear to see how Israel, in the process of wall building, confiscates land belonging to Palestinians: it does not respect the 1967 borders or Green Line and conveniently confiscates land by building the Wall inside Palestinian territory. In the process, it annexes illegal settlements on Palestinian territory; it has been calculated that no less than 46% of the West Bank territory is confiscated. Furthermore, it makes life for many Palestinians much more complicated. If you want a clear example of addressing the consequences, but not the cause, the Wall is your perfect example. It only makes the situation of the Palestinians more desperate, and by taking away their view, also takes away any solution that might be looming at the horizon.

Picture of Israeli Wall (Palestinian Territories): Graffiti sometimes makes places more beautiful than they were before: a particularly collourful stretch of the Wall

Artists and desperate Palestinians have taken the opportunity to decorate the Israeli Wall, making it not only less ugly, but also interesting to walk along. Here, you can find slogans in many languages, graffiti, and pictures plastered on the wall. Some are obvious, some make you stop, wonder and ponder. And some make you outright sad. Sad for the situation of these people, for the injustice done, for the apparent absence of any possible solution to this conflict that has poisened the region. Building walls means blocking out contact, means giving up, means a quick but not a structural solution. Even though the wall may have its function as a carrier of art, one can only hope that it will disappear soon. If it ever does, the next problem would arise: what to do with the new constructions built right next to the wall on Palestinian territory?

Picture of Israeli Wall (Palestinian Territories): Palestinian woman at one of the few entrances of the Wall
Picture of Israeli Wall (Palestinian Territories): Watchtower, minaret and church have become an integral part of the cityscape around Bethlehem.
Picture of Israeli Wall (Palestinian Territories): Cleaning around the Israeli Wall
Picture of Israeli Wall (Palestinian Territories): Political statements are plentiful on the Israeli Wall
Picture of Israeli Wall (Palestinian Territories): Nothing lasts forever: this hopefully also applies to the Israeli Wall
Picture of Israeli Wall (Palestinian Territories): Political statement on the infamous Israeli Wall in Bethlehem
Picture of Israeli Wall (Palestinian Territories): Message on the Israeli Wall behind barbed wire
Picture of Israeli Wall (Palestinian Territories): Wall covered by creative spirits, watchtower, and barbed wire
Picture of Israeli Wall (Palestinian Territories): Ugly, high and grey: the Israeli Wall in Bethlehem
Picture of Israeli Wall (Palestinian Territories): Artistic expression on the Wall
Picture of Israeli Wall (Palestinian Territories): Statement on the Wall and Palestinian
Picture of Israeli Wall (Palestinian Territories): Israeli wall towering high above Palestinian in Bethlehem
Picture of Israeli Wall (Palestinian Territories): Boy walking past the monstrous wall in Bethlehem

Around the World in 80 Clicks

Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Israeli Wall (Palestinian Territories). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Israeli Wall.
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