Ramsey Ben-Achour

Demolition decimating Palestinian village

RAMALLAH, Nov 21 (IPS) - Al-Walajeh village was once a quiet but busy place. Just four kilometers from Bethlehem and 8.5 km from Jerusalem, its rolling hills filled with fruit trees, natural forests, and blooming vegetation made it a prime farming location. Easy access to large and consistent markets led its inhabitants to relative economic prosperity. Life was good. Today, however, al-Walajeh village is a different place altogether. “The demolishing of houses is a weekly event here in al-Walajeh,” Sheerin Alaraj, al-Walajeh Village Council member, told IPS

West Bankers get some medical care

RAMALLAH, 6 November (IPS) - After packing the ambulance with medical equipment and bags full of medicine, Dr. Jameel Mashny, Dr. Rami Habash and their nurse, Maysa Youseff, all from the Palestine Medical Relief Society (PMRS), prepare themselves for the long day ahead. If it is business as usual, it will be a day of organized chaos. Screaming children will hide behind their mothers, elderly men will complain that they do not like the taste of their medicine — and a poor village will get desperately needed medical relief.