Protest In Artas Against The Israel Wall
Friday August 6, 2010 – George Rishmawi – IMEMC News
The people of the village of Artas west of Bethlehem organized on Friday their weekly march against the construction of the wall on their land. Dozens of citizens, accompanied by international supporters, marched through the village to the construction site of the wall. Local sources said that Israeli troops operating in the area were taping the march. The marchers waved Palestinian flags and banners condemning the building of the wall on the farmers’ lands. Awad Abu Swai, spokesperson of the popular committee against the wall and settlements in Artas, spoke to the crowd calling for unity among the Palestinians in order to face the Israeli measures of land confiscation and the construction of the wall.

Sacrilege in the Bethlehem District Villages of Artas and El Walajeh02,September,1999

The State of Israel reached a new low recently through a series of demolitions of Palestinian holy sites. These acts of sacrilege occurred in the Bethlehem District, an area which has recently been subjected to increased levels of aggression by the Israeli government.

The Palestinian village of Artas, with a population of 2,684 people, is located to the south of Bethlehem (Figure 1) . Its most famous archeological site is an ancient monastery owned by the Catholic Church (Figure 2). The monastery was built in 1901, and was opened as a mission on November 12 of the same year by nine Uruguayan nuns. In 1903, with support from the Vatican, the nuns opened a clinic, a primary school, and an orphanage to serve the people of Artas and its surroundings. Up to this moment, the monastery helps the poor and the neglected in an effort to give them peace and happiness.

Figure 1Location map of Artas village.

Figure 2Artas monastery owned by the Catholic Church.

On 24 January 1999, Artas witnessed excavation activity by radical Jewish colonists from the nearby Israeli colony of Efrat. Several colonists showed up with bulldozers and began digging into Artas land in an attempt to open a new by-pass road linking the colonies west of Artas to those in the east . They were heavily armed and threatened to shoot anyone who tried to stop them as they slashed into Palestinian soil, including the land of Artas’ historic monastery (Figure 3). The Efrat colonists, under the protection of the Israeli military forces, demolished part of the monastery’s stone wall and expropriated 30 dunums (1 dunum = 1/10 hectare) of its land (Figure 4). The monastery was exposed to similar harassment by the colonists of Efrat two years previously in an attempt to expand their colony. To prevent these activities, the nuns and village members marked the borders of the monastery by drawing crosses on all of its stone walls.

Figure 3: Damaged monastery wall.

Figure 4: Nun proving true ownership of monastery land.

The Papal mission in Jerusalem lodged a strong protest to the Israeli Foreign Minister following the Israeli confiscation. Moreover, 170 dunums adjacent to land owned by the Islamic Waqf are threatened to be confiscated. Tens of Artas families have been exposed to a continuous wave of harassment by the Jewish colonists from nearby colonies. They have already uprooted their trees and prevented them from reclaiming their land.

El Walajeh, a village of around 2,500 people located 10 kilometers southeast of Jerusalem, is surrounded by the Jewish colonies of Gilo and Har Gilo (Figure 1). This village has also been the target of recent acts of sacrilege by the Israeli government. On 12 January 1999, the Israeli police delivered a stop order for the emerging structure of a newly built mosque (Figure 5). Two weeks later, a demolition order was issued claiming that the mosque was built without a permit on land zoned for agricultural use.

Figure 5: Newly built El Walajeh mosque.

The people of El Walajeh challenged this decision, and continued building in a vow to resist any attempt to knock down the mosque. On 1 February 1999, the villagers rushed to complete the construction of the new mosque despite Israeli threats to demolish it.

Enthusiastic workers have completed the walls of the two-story structure and are preparing to place the roof on the 170 square meter building. In addition to the mosque, 37 Palestinian homes have received demolition orders which the Israeli government claims were built without proper authorization. The demolition of the mosque is frozen for the moment.

These destructive acts come in an attempt to construct an industrial zone and an additional 400 housing units for the Gilo colony. The confrontation over the mosque is only the latest in a half-century running battle between Israelis and Palestinians in the area, which lies on the ‘Green Line’ separating Israel from the West Bank. Over 2,000 demolition orders of Palestinian houses are currently outstanding, and the construction of more by-pass roads to serve Israeli colonies endangers the security of an increasing number of Palestinian families.

It is clear that even holy places are not safe from Israeli unilateral activities. These inadmissible acts of desecration to holy places are in total violation and contradiction with the prospects of human rights and a just and comprehensive peace.



  1. kruitvat Post author

    Recent visitors :

    1. 7 octobre 08:45 Unitymedia NRW GmbH, Rheine, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Allemagne
    2. 7 octobre 08:46 Inde
    3. 7 octobre 08:56 Microsoft Corp, États-Unis
    4. 7 octobre 08:57 Greek Public Administration Network, Athens, Attiki, Grèce
    5. 7 octobre 08:58 Salon Seudun Puhelin Oy, Salo, Western Finland, Finlande
    6. 7 octobre 09:01 Joint Stock Company Lithuanian Railways, Vilnius, Vilniaus Apskritis, Lituanie
    7. 7 octobre 09:04 Belgacom Skynet, Brussels, Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest, Belgique
    8. 7 octobre 09:05 PPR, Marcq-en-baroeul, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France
    9. 7 octobre 09:08 XS4ALL Internet BV, Sleeuwijk, Noord-Brabant, Pays-Bas
    10. 7 octobre 09:18 Opera Software ASA, Anonymous Proxy
    11. 7 octobre 09:19 TeNeT Networking Centre, Odessa, Odes’ka Oblast’, Ukraine
    12. 7 octobre 09:21 REGIONE CAMPANIA, Naples, Campania, Italie
    13. 7 octobre 09:25 Neuf Cegetel, Lille, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France
    14. 7 octobre 09:27 Neuf Cegetel, Vic-le-comte, Auvergne, France
    15. 7 octobre 09:28 Telecom Italia, Fornacette, Toscana, Italie
    16. 7 octobre 09:34 Commerce, Longpont-sur-orge, Ile-de-France, France
    17. 7 octobre 09:40 France Telecom, Niort, Poitou-Charentes, France
    18. 7 octobre 09:40 Telecom Italia, Brancaleone, Sicilia, Italie
    19. 7 octobre 09:41 Microsoft Corp, États-Unis
    20. 7 octobre 09:47 Bouygues Telecom, France
    21. 7 octobre 09:49 Robotron Datenbank-Software GmbH, Dresden, Dresden, Sachsen, Allemagne
    22. 7 octobre 09:51 Deutsche Telekom AG, Teningen, Baden-Württemberg, Allemagne
    23. 7 octobre 09:55 France Telecom, Gray, Franche-Comte, France
    24. 7 octobre 10:00 PoP-anoual-adsl, Casablanca, Maroc
    25. 7 octobre 10:01 RECTORAT DE L ACADEMIE REIMS, Reims, Champagne-Ardenne, France
    26. 7 octobre 10:09 Fastweb, Castell’arquato, Emilia-Romagna, Italie
    27. 7 octobre 10:11 U.S. Department of State, Dulles, Virginia, États-Unis
    28. 7 octobre 10:15 Tele2 Internet customer, Venlo, Limburg, Pays-Bas
    29. 7 octobre 10:15 Exalead, Paris, Ile-de-France, France
    30. 7 octobre 10:15 Exalead, Paris, Ile-de-France, France
    31. 7 octobre 10:17 Telenet Operaties N.V., Bierbeek, Brabant, Belgique
    32. 7 octobre 10:18 Visafone Communications Limited, Lagos, Nigeria
    33. 7 octobre 10:22 Swisscom (Schweiz) AG, Comano, Ticino, Suisse
    34. 7 octobre 10:26 Telenet N.V. Residentials, Nieuwkerken-waas, Oost-Vlaanderen, Belgique
    35. 7 octobre 10:28 France Telecom, Agde, Languedoc-Roussillon, France
    36. 7 octobre 10:28 France Telecom, Caulnes, Bretagne, France
    37. 7 octobre 10:33 CRI, Universite d’Orleans, Orléans, Centre, France
    38. 7 octobre 10:39 Telecom Italia, Bergamo, Lombardia, Italie
    39. 7 octobre 10:42 Orange, France
    40. 7 octobre 10:42 France Telecom, Paris, Ile-de-France, France
    41. 7 octobre 10:47 France Telecom, Paris, Ile-de-France, France
    42. 7 octobre 10:48 PLANET TECHNOLOGIES, Haarlemmermeer, Noord-Holland, Pays-Bas
    43. 7 octobre 10:49 OECD – Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and, Paris, Ile-de-France, France
    44. 7 octobre 10:50 Telewest Broadband, London, London, City of, Royaume-Uni
    45. 7 octobre 10:50 Belgacom Skynet, Oeudeghien, Hainaut, Belgique
    46. 7 octobre 10:51 CO.TRA.L.S.P.A., Rome, Lazio, Italie
    47. 7 octobre 10:52 Microsoft Corp, États-Unis
    48. 7 octobre 10:57 France Telecom, Contamine-sur-arve, Rhone-Alpes, France
    49. 7 octobre 10:57 France Telecom, Marseille, Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur, France
    50. 7 octobre 10:57 Belgacom Skynet, Oeudeghien, Hainaut, Belgique

  2. kruitvat Post author

    Some recent visitors of :

    – RECTORAT DE L ACADEMIE REIMS, Reims, Champagne-Ardenne, France
    – U.S. Department of State, Dulles, Virginia, États-Unis
    – Greek Public Administration Network, Athens, Attiki, Grèce
    – Universite d’Orleans, Orléans, Centre, France
    – OECD – Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and, Paris, Ile-de-France, France

    And visitors coming from:
    Inde, États-Unis, Finlande, Lituanie, Belgique, France, Pays-Bas, Ukraine, Italie, Allemagne, Maroc, Nigeria, Royaume-Uni, Suisse


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s