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The construction of the separation barrier, also known amongst Palestinians as the “Apartheid Wall” in 2002 running 750km inside the West Bank- much deeper inside than the green line- has made the life of Palestinians, yet again, harder. The wall directly affects 4 out of 10 Palestinians whether they live between the wall and the green line or inside the West Bank.
As for my personal experience, as a Palestinian living in Ramallah, I can say that I have been affected more by occupation in general than by the wall. The wall has restricted movement for me between Ramallah and my hometown, making it an even longer journey, but I would prefer to tell the stories of my people.
Take for example, a friend of mine who lives in Ramallah but is originally from Bilin. Not only has the wall taken up much of their land illegally, but also as a result, her father was jailed for almost 2 years for being one of the leaders of the popular committee against the wall. Furthermore, her 16 year old younger brother was also jailed for participating in any kind of activity protesting their basic rights. The land that was confiscated by the Israeli military is yet to be returned and any compensation given to their family.
This is just another example of even the tiniest of its effects on people living near it. It is no secret that the wall has stolen much of farmers’ lands and although we don’t realize it, it affects us all. Even the fact that taking agricultural land (which is what the wall does), means less vegetables, which as a result causes increase in prices affects us. Other than this, the ones most affected by the wall are the ones who live between it and the green line. These people have to deal with daily hassles just trying to move between places, from permits to checkpoints, the harassment is endless. Some people cannot visit family members that live just miles away.
Moreover, the wall has managed to cut many villages down the middle in addition to it taking up even more land. Several universities have the wall standing right in front of them and there are some children’s playgrounds that have been cut right down the middle. It has separated farmers from their lands and people from their friends and family.
Occupation is a crime, no doubt about it, but the symptoms that come along with it are what really dehumanize us at the end of the day.
There is not one person in Palestine that has not seen the injustice that occurs on our land daily with the silence of the international community. The constant Israeli violation of basic human rights has gotten to a level where it has become ridiculous. Palestinians spend hours could spend hours at military checkpoints trying to do normal things such as getting to school, work or even hospitals – something any average citizen outside has access to easily. My question as a Palestinian is: When will it end?