Pamela Olson (of Fast Times in Palestine) has a fabulous post about the geography of Israel and the West Bank. It’s a primer for anyone who doesn’t understand what Area C is, or Abu Dis, let alone the confiscated wells of Jayyous that are to serve Israelis. Here’s Olson on the path of the wall.
Above is a map of the Wall in East Jerusalem. This picture represents more pain and heartache than I can summarize in a paragraph, but I’ll explain as well as I can. The grey area is Israel (including Israeli West Jerusalem) while the white area is the occupied West Bank. The tan areas are Palestinian cities and villages (Ramallah in the north, Palestinian East Jerusalem in the middle, Bethlehem in the south). The purple areas are Israeli settlements, all built illegally on Palestinian land. Many of these are being expanded and new ones are being built. The red line is the planned route of the Wall.
Notice how the Wall weaves around to isolate as many Palestinian areas as possible from East Jerusalem while seizing as many settlements and as much land as possible. Bethlehem has been particularly devastated. Not only does the Wall surround it and isolate most its land, turning it into a ghetto, the Wall and settlements break the ancient link with its sister holy city Jerusalem. Notice also how many Palestinian communities are separated or cut off from each other — Shu’fat and Shu’fat Refugee Camp, Beit Hanina and Beit Hanina al Balad, East Jerusalem and Abu Dis, and on and on.
Go to Olson’s site to see the stunning pictures of the wall and of Palestinian life that remind us of Jim Crow and the Warsaw Ghetto.