With the arrival of the Al Jazeera Net team in the town of Hizma (northeast of occupied Jerusalem), the Israeli occupation soldiers began laying new concrete cubes, as part of the construction of a wall that prevents the urban expansion of the residents of the besieged Jerusalemite town.
assertive That town, which is 8 kilometers away from the center of Jerusalem, extends its land area to about 18,000 dunams (a dunam is a thousand square metres), and reaches the borders of Jericho, the Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea to the east, and is linked to the villages and towns of Shuafat, Beit Hanina, Al-Ram, and Anata from other sides. The occupation built a wall around it, 5 km long; Isolate her from her surroundings. Read also The tracks.. the Palestinians walk on their land to refute the allegations of the occupation The Hundred Years’ War on Palestine… The Story of Settler Colonialism and Resistance (1917 – 2017) Slogans and drawings… What do the camp’s deaf walls say on the anniversary of the Nakba? Umm Sharif Thouqan.. “The mother and sister of the prisoners” narrates 4 decades of touring between the occupation prisons
Before entering the center of the town, we saw the occupation military vehicles scattered around it, and the soldiers take stone screens at the entrances to stand behind them, and always wave their weapons to protect the settlers passing from the streets extending around it, and to protect the engineering teams of the occupation army, which are working on building a new wall behind the bypass street from the western side ; To prevent the urban expansion of Hazma citizens.
Mahmoud, a resident of Hizma, grazes his sheep on the western side of the town, and watches the construction of the new wall, in a wall and barbed wire surroundings. Mahmoud tells Al Jazeera Net that there is no longer a place to graze his sheep in the besieged town, and there are no longer open places, even though they were vast areas years ago.
After we reached the center of the town, we were received by the former mayor, Muwaffaq al-Khatib, and accompanied us to a building belonging to a citizen. On its roof, the surroundings of the besieged Hizma are exposed from all directions, as its residents only returned to about 950 dunams, out of 18,000 dunams; In other words, the occupation looted about 95% of its lands, and about 5% remains for the town’s structural plan, which the occupation allows the municipality to work in, to serve about 8,000 citizens, the residents of Hizma – which is classified as Area C within the Oslo Agreement, meaning that it is subject to the military decisions of the occupation and civil.
Tens of thousands of settlers
The occupation and its settlements completely isolate the town from its Palestinian geographical surroundings, so there is no access – as before – to the heart of the city of Jerusalem, which Hizma is part of its northeastern villages, and there is also no geographical contact with the surrounding villages and towns, which have become distributed, divided and isolated inside and outside the wall .
This siege did not prevent the occupation from continuing to reduce the areas of Hizma lands, and the construction of a street parallel to the bypass street, on the side of which a wall will be built, restricts the construction of citizens.
Al-Khatib describes the “Bizgat Ze’ev” settlement as the largest on the level of settlements on the outskirts of Jerusalem, which is built on the lands of Hizma, and its population exceeds 70,000 settlers, and there are permanent bids to expand this settlement and other settlements on the town’s lands, which are settlements: “Al-Nabi Yaacoub.” From the western side, “Adam” from the northern side, and “Alomon” from the southeastern side.
As well as settlements and bypass roads; The occupation established the main military checkpoint in 1990 on the lands of Hizma, which separated it from Beit Hanina and Shuafat; Consequently, it is completely isolated from the city of Jerusalem after the construction of the wall around the barrier in 2004.
The occupation also erects permanent checkpoints at the northern and southern entrances to Hizma, and iron gates that cut off any roads leading to the town. Soldiers are permanently present at these checkpoints, and they are always ready for the incursions and arrests that take place almost daily in Hizma; Which presented martyrs who rose from the beginning of the 1936 revolution against the British occupation, and it continues to provide martyrs, detainees and the wounded during the continuous Israeli occupation.
The besieged Hizma today is only about two kilometers away from the surrounding towns, such as Al-Ram, Jaba’ and Anata, which lie outside the wall, but there is no definitive geographic contiguity between these villages because of the wall, which isolates about 4,300 dunams of Hizma lands outside the wall, and prevents Palestinian residents in Hizma Make more use of the road linking the north and south of the West Bank, which passes near Hizma.
When we left Hizma, we saw walls and barbed wire adjoining the homes of the town’s citizens and isolating them from the road taken by settlers heading to Jerusalem, just as this street on the opposite side is surrounded by a high wall that isolates the town and its besieged surroundings – basically- from the city of Jerusalem, so that Hizma becomes a Jerusalem town outside Geographically, Jerusalem, as a result of the wall and barriers, is completely isolated from its Palestinian surroundings by barriers, iron gates, settlements and bypass streets, as if it were a small cell, as described by the former mayor, Muwaffaq al-Khatib.