Creating a Semi-Enclave: Focus on Anata, Jerusalem Governorate

Aerial map of Anata prepared by the Palestinian Monitoring Group.


In 1967, the boundaries of Anata, located in the Jerusalem Governorate, extended over 30,000 dunums (7,500 acres) of land. [1] However, multiple Israeli policies affecting the town since then have led to its progressive loss. According to the Anata Local Council, upon completion of Wall construction, only some 2,300 dunums (575 acres) will remain for the use of Anata residents, the majority of which has already been built-up. Israel has appropriated or isolated the rest through construction and expansion of Israeli settlements, establishment of a major military base, and construction of the Wall and its �buffer zone�.

Anata�s natural expansion is now restricted by �facts on the ground� created by Israel. Upon completion of the Wall, Anata and the adjacent Shu�fat Refugee Camp will be enclosed on 3 sides by the Wall. To the east, natural expansion will be prevented by a major road currently under construction, and, to its east, by the Israeli military base of Anatot. Hemmed in by physical structures on all sides, intense overcrowding is likely to occur as the Palestinian civilian population grows over time.

The economic future of Anata is equally bleak. Some 45 per cent of Anata�s labourers depend on work in Israel, and a significant proportion of Anata residents rely on commerce that depends, in large part, on traffic in and out of the town. Completion of the Wall and further Israeli restrictions on Palestinian freedom of movement will contribute to a decrease in commercial trade and in overall income levels. The damage caused to Anata�s economy will be felt on a national level. Approximately 35 per cent of the Palestinian economy is dependent on Metropolitan East Jerusalem, which extends from Bethlehem to Ramallah. This metropolitan area is now being broken into semi-enclaves � of which Anata is but one � by the route of the Wall. The disintegration of Metropolitan East Jerusalem destroys the possibility of an integrated national economy and thus the possibility of a viable Palestinian state.

While Israel has carried out its policies in the Anata area under a variety of pretexts, including �security�, the facts on the ground clearly indicate that these policies are part of a series of unilateral Israeli actions designed to sever the connection between Occupied East Jerusalem and other parts of the West Bank, to de facto annex Palestinian land and to impose a vision of �final status� that will impede the establishment of a viable, contiguous Palestinian state.

Overview

According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS), Anata is home to some 9,622 Palestinian civilians, most of whom hold West Bank identity cards (IDs). The Anata Local Council reports that some 5,000 additional Palestinian civilians live in Dahiyat as Salaam, which is located within the Israeli-defined municipal borders of Jerusalem, and, thus, residents therein possess Jerusalem IDs.

Immediately west of Anata lies Shu�fat Refugee Camp, which is home to over 10,000 registered Palestinian refugees. [2] Shu�fat Refugee Camp is located within the Israeli-defined municipal borders of Jerusalem and all residents hold Jerusalem IDs. Many of the Camp�s residents are descendants of families that lived in Al Magharbeh quarter of the old city of Jerusalem, which Israel demolished immediately following the end of the 1967 war to order to create the plaza for the Western Wall.

Additionally, there are a number of neighbourhoods located immediately adjacent to the camp, such as Ras Shehadeh and Ras Khamis, each of which have several thousand Palestinian residents. The majority of the residents of these neighbourhoods also possess Jerusalem IDs. In total, there are some 20,000 Palestinian residents of the Shu�fat refugee camp and the neighbourhoods of Ras Khamis, Ras Shehadeh and Dahiyat as Salaam, the majority of who possess Jerusalem IDs.

Israeli Settlements on Anata Land

Israel has confiscated a significant proportion of Anata�s land for construction of Israeli settlements, which are designed to maintain Israeli control over large swathes of West Bank territory, while impeding Palestinian territorial contiguity and the natural expansion of Palestinian areas. This is particularly true to the east of Occupied East Jerusalem.

According to the Palestinian Ministry of Planning (MOP), Israel has constructed 4 settlements � Kfar Adumim, Almon, Allon, and Nofei Prat � and 1 military base � Anatot � on Anata land. All of them are located on a largely contiguous stretch of Anata land to the town�s east. The 4 Israeli settlements have a combined population of some 2,500 Israeli settlers. [3]

According to MOP, the built-up areas of the settlements cover some 2,900 dunums (725 acres) of Anata land. However, these settlements� master plans are much larger than their built-up areas, leaving them in control of over 19,000 dunums (4,750 acres).

In closest proximity to Anata�s built-up area is the Anatot military base. Established in the early 1980s, according to the Anata Local Council, the base is located some 40-50 metres away from a hamlet of Palestinian houses in the Fhidat area of Anata (see map above).

The Wall

The path of the Wall runs along the northern, western and southern sides of the built-up areas of Anata and Shu�fat Refugee Camp. To the east, the Wall runs to the east of Anatot military base. The Anata Local Council estimates that 30 per cent of the Wall has been erected. In this area, the Wall consists of 6-8 metre-high concrete block segments and chain-link fence-and-road portions.

Israel has constructed the majority of the Wall in close proximity to the built-up area of Anata, thus maximizing the amount of land confiscated by the Israeli authorities and minimizing the amount of land remaining for Anata residents. For example, in northwest Anata, a concrete portion of the Wall comes within 5 � 10 metres of a cluster of 16 Palestinian houses that fell within the original Wall path. When constructed, the Wall was moved to the back edge of these homes.

In some cases, Palestinian buildings have actually become part of the Wall structure. For instance, concrete blocks have been built along the back side of the Anata Secondary School for Boys, confiscating around 900 to 1,000 square meters of the school�s playground for the �security� road running along the Wall. The school�s administration was forced to seal the back door of the school leading to the playground following several instances in which Israeli soldiers entered the back door and fired tear gas grenades inside the school.

The route of the Wall to the southeast of Anata creates a pocket of territory around the Israeli settlement of Ma�ale Adumim, and separates 250,000 Palestinian Jerusalemites from the rest of the West Bank. According to the Israeli military�s April 2006 map of the Wall�s route, the Israeli settlements of Allon, Kfar Adumim, Almon and Novei Prat, as well as vast areas of Anata land, will all be incorporated within this pocket.

This pocket of territory completely surrounds and isolates Occupied East Jerusalem and includes the land slated for the E-1 settlement plan, a proposed new Israeli settlement designed to connect Ma�ale Adumim with West Jerusalem. This same area is the last available space in Occupied East Jerusalem for much needed Palestinian natural growth. By constructing the Wall around this area, Israel is impeding the development of Palestinian areas while simultaneously facilitating the eventual construction of this new 3,500-unit settlement, which will be able to house some 15,000 new Israeli settlers.

In addition to impeding the development of Palestinian locales, the Wall severs the historic connection between Palestinian areas within Occupied East Jerusalem. Once the Wall is complete, some 20,000 Jerusalem ID holders living in Shu�fat refugee camp and the neighbourhoods of Ras Khamis, Ras Shehadeh and Dahiyat as Salaam will be forced to pass through a Wall gate in order to access the city. This will likely minimize the already meagre Jerusalem municipal services provided to a significant number of these residents, who are entitled to services given that they are obliged to pay taxes to the Jerusalem municipality. Access to vital services, such as health and education, will be increasingly difficult. These residents fear that following these new developments, including the treatment of their neighbourhoods as non-Jerusalem areas, the likelihood of their being able to maintain their status as Jerusalem ID holders � and thus their ability to access the city � will be jeopardized.

Road Construction

To the east of the built-up area of Anata, construction is underway for a new road An Israeli contractor working on the road informed Anata residents that the road will consist of 4 - 6 lanes: 2 - 3 on the western side for Palestinian use and 2 -3 on the eastern side for Israeli use. The two sections will be divided by a 1-metre high, concrete divider.

This road will serve 2 larger Israeli policy objectives: (1) the eastern or �Israeli� side of the road is part of the Israeli Jerusalem Eastern Ring Road and will link Israeli settlements to one another and to Jerusalem and Israel; and (2) the western or �Palestinian� side of the road will form part of a north-south Palestinian transportation link, designed to provide Palestinian civilians �transportation contiguity�, as opposed to �territorial contiguity�, between the northern and southern West Bank.

The construction of this road severs the connection between the main built-up area of Anata and a hamlet of Palestinian homes, the Fhidat neighbourhood, to its east. An underpass being constructed under the road will be Fhidat residents� only means of accessing the built-up area of Anata. (see map above)

While the projected path of the Wall runs east of the road, the road will serve the same function as the Wall by closing in the area from the east and completing the encirclement of Anata and Shu�fat Refugee Camp on all sides.

Restricting Natural Expansion

Anata and Shu�fat Refugee Camp�s natural growth will be restricted by the Wall on 3 sides and the road to the east. The Anata Local Council reports that within this area lies some 2,300 dunums (575 acres) of Anata land. Of this, 1,274.8 dunums (318.7 acres) are already built-up. [4]

The majority of the remaining Anata land is designated as Area C. Hence, building permits are subject to approval of the Israeli authorities � approval which is virtually always denied. According to the Anata Local Council, the Israeli authorities have demolished 42 Palestinian structures in Anata since January 2004, 36 of which were inhabited. All of these structures were located in Area C and the majority were demolished on the grounds that they were built without the requisite building permit. (Four additional homes currently have demolition orders against them.)

Control of Water Resources

The 4 Israeli settlements on Anata land have been strategically established over the Eastern Aquifer Basin. According to the Palestinian Water Authority (PWA), the average water supply rate for Anata in 2005 reached 140 litres per capita per day, which falls below the World Health Organization�s standard of around 150 litres per capita per day. Water provided to Anata residents is purchased from an Israeli company.

According to the PWA, there are several water resources located on Anata land, including �Ein Al Fawwar and �Ein Fara � none of which can be accessed without entering land under Israeli settlement control. Given that access to the springs is restricted and that the water discharged from them flows eastward, Anata residents benefit little from them, while area Israeli settlements use the water for agricultural and recreational purposes. These uses are wasteful, since the springs could provide Anata with good quality water for domestic purposes if they are developed and maintained properly. To do so, however, would require that Palestinians have direct access to, and control of, the springs.

Upon completion of the Wall, these water resources will be completely inaccessible to Anata residents. Thus, they will remain largely for the exclusive benefit of Israeli settlers and Israel will continue its policy of maintaining control over the majority of Palestinians� water resources.

The Shu�fat �Crossing Point�

One of the main checkpoints providing access to Jerusalem is located 2.1 kilometres from the 1967 border, along the outskirts of Shu�fat Refugee Camp and within the Israeli-defined municipal borders of Jerusalem. According to the Coordinator of Shu�fat Refugee Camp�s Popular Committee, the Shu�fat checkpoint was established in 2000. Upon completion of the Anata segment of the Wall, the Shu�fat checkpoint will function as a Wall gate.

In January 2006, the Israeli military issued an order designating Shu�fat checkpoint as 1 of 11 �crossing points� through which West Bank Palestinians holding valid, Israeli-issued access permits may enter or exit Jerusalem or Israel. [5] In addition to the Shu�fat checkpoint, 3 other �crossing points� were designated to provide access to Occupied East Jerusalem. [6] All 11 �crossing points� lay along the Wall�s path and the majority of them are located within Occupied Palestinian Territory. In designating these �crossing points�, Israel is attempting to unilaterally declare the borders of Jerusalem and the West Bank by matter of fact.

As of June 2006, the Shu�fat checkpoint has 4 lanes: one for entering Shu�fat Refugee Camp from Jerusalem and 3 for exiting the area. The �entry� lane is almost always extremely congested with traffic. Of the 3 �exit� lanes, one is open 24 hours a day, one has been designated by residents for use by busses, and one has been designated by residents for use by students. The latter lane is open from 6:00am until 8:00pm on school days. The three lanes merge into one after exiting the checkpoint into Jerusalem. According to the Coordinator of Shu�fat Refugee Camp�s Popular Committee, Palestinian civilians are not allowed to carry large merchandise across the checkpoint, even if it is for personal use and not for sale. Israeli troops positioned at the checkpoint have told residents that they must transport the material through Beituniya checkpoint terminal (for goods only), located west of Ramallah. The Israeli authorities have also placed a metal turnstile at the checkpoint for pedestrians to cross, however, to date, pedestrians have refused to use the turnstile as it is ï¿½demeaning�.

Economic Impact

According to the Palestinian Ministry of Labour, an estimated 45 per cent of Anata labourers rely on work inside Israel. Another significant portion of Anata residents� source of income comes from commercial shops, small factories and workshops (primarily stone cutting), which rely on external marketing and are dependant on movement in and out of Anata.

Intensified Israeli restrictions on Palestinian freedom of movement imposed since September 2000, in particular at the Shu�fat checkpoint, have considerably minimized the movement of people to and from Anata. Hence, commerce and trade have decreased. According to the Palestinian Ministry of Labour, only 20 labourers out of the 45 per cent of Anata�s labour force, that work inside Israel, have registered that they actually possess valid permits to enter Israel. As such, in order to maintain their jobs inside the 1967 border, many Palestinian civilians have been forced to use illegal routes, including mountainous ones, and many are no longer able to maintain steady employment. Together, these factors have resulted in a sharp decrease in overall income and in living standards in Anata. As Wall construction is completed, movement will be increasingly difficult.

Map of the boundaries of Anata prepared by the Ministry of Planning.


At Risk of De-Population: Fhidat Neighbourhood of Anata

To the east of the main built-up area of Anata lies the Fhidat neighbourhood, located in Area C and consisting of 12 houses. The Fhidat neighbourhood is home to approximately 60 Palestinian civilians, many of whom are members of the Fhidat family, which is of Bedouin origin. Of these, 28 are shepherds who spend a portion of the year in the Jordan Valley tending to their sheep. The Fhidat neighbourhood is surrounded on 3 sides by Anatot military base.

According to the Anata Local Council, the Fhidat neighbourhood has been inhabited and formed part of Anata since prior to the beginning of Israel�s occupation in 1967. Given its location in Area C, Fhidat residents are prohibited from either building new homes or expanding existing homes without the permission of the Israeli authorities. Those residents who have been forced to build without permission face the threat of having their homes demolished. Currently, 3 of the existing 12 houses in the neighbourhood have outstanding demolition orders. According to their owners, all of the orders concern homes that were expanded.

Fhidat residents report that their lives have been adversely affected by Anatot military base, for example, by regular instances of open-fire from the base and unpredictable military training operations that at times continue until after midnight. Residents also note the toll of ongoing surveillance of their activities via cameras installed along the perimeter of the camp and of the directing of spotlights at their homes during the night, causing children and families to panic.

Other forms of harassment include the entry of Israeli soldiers and jeeps into the neighbourhood and the questioning or detention of Palestinian residents or visitors to the area. In 2006, visits to the neighbourhood by Israeli soldiers and officers have increased in frequency, with residents reporting that in February and March 2006, there were 4-5 visits by the military to the neighbourhood. During these visits, Israeli soldiers gathered detailed information about the area, including details about neighbourhood residents. Additionally, Israeli soldiers entered homes and took photographs of their contents. Residents were subsequently instructed by an Israeli officer to register their names and ID card numbers at Beit El. When questioned, the Israeli officer did not indicate the purpose of having residents register at Beit El. Residents report that Israeli soldiers, separately, informed them that upon completion of the road currently being constructed next to the neighbourhood, areas to the west of the road would be considered �West Bank�, while areas east of the road, where the Fhidat neighbourhood is located, would be considered part of �Jerusalem�. The residents who spoke to the soldiers indicated that they were shown a map that supported this statement.

Fhidat residents fear that the Israeli military is attempting to pressure them to leave the area. However, even in the absence of explicit efforts to do so, the future of the area is bleak at best. It is surrounded on 3 sides by the Israeli military base and penned in on the fourth by the road under construction. The only entry/exit point to the neighbourhood will be via an underpass running under the newly constructed road.

The Palestinian Monitoring Group (PMG) is an inter-agency group of Palestinian civilian ministries and security agencies. Established in August 2003, the PMG monitors all aspects of ground conditions in the Occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Occupied Gaza Strip. The information reported through the PMG process only represents data available at the time of distribution.

Footnotes
[1] See maps above for aerial map of Anata area.
[2] Source: UNRWA (March 2005). See: http://www.un.org/unrwa/refugees/westbank.html. Please note, however, that the actual population of the Camp is much higher as it includes those who are not registered as refugees in Shu�fat Refugee Camp.
[3] PCBS.
[4] Ministry of Planning
[5] �Announcement Regarding the Designation of Crossing Points (Judea and Samaria), 5766-2006�, entered into force on 03 February 2006. The order concerns the regulation of entry and exit of �non Israelis� into and out of Jerusalem and the West Bank. �Israeli� is defined in a related order as �an Israeli citizen, whose place of residence is in the area and who is an Israeli citizen or has the right to immigrate to Israel in accordance with the Law of the Right to Return, 5710-1950, as it is enforced in Israel, in addition to [persons] who are not residents in the area, but possess a valid permit to enter Israel.� For definition, see �Order Regarding Closed Zones (Amendment No. 3) (Judea and Samaria) (No. 1576), 5766-2005�, 15 December 2005. [PMG Translation].
[6] They are Qalandiya checkpoint terminal, Mount of Olives/Az Zayem checkpoint terminal, and Bethlehem checkpoint terminal.