Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Bethlehem Prison City Gates

[Image: 'The prison walls have been closed' - bethlehem bloggers]

"Bethlehem and Jerusalem are twin cities. It's the first time in history that Bethlehem has been separated,'' says Jad Isaac, director general of the Applied Research Institute, a Jerusalem-based environmental group. "It will gradually cause Bethlehem to become ghettoized, a further deterioration of living conditions, and further immigration."

[Image: 'The prison walls have been closed' - bethlehem bloggers]

Crossing "was never easy, and now it's going to be more difficult," says Bethlehem Mayor Victor Batarseh. "This is an economic war against the city."

[Image: 'The prison walls have been closed' - bethlehem bloggers]

"Going to Jerusalem is now like going to Jordan," complains Ali Jubran, a construction worker from Bethlehem, as he puts finishing touches on a new checkpoint terminal. "If you want to pray [at the mosque], you have to present a passport."

[Image: The Wall Map around Bethlehem Map, PENGON / Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign, February 24th, 2005/Stop the Wall]

[Image: 'Ethnic Cleansing on Rachel's Day' - bethlehem bloggers]

"Back near the entrance of Bethlehem, the neighborhood around Rachel's Tomb - the traditional burial spot of the Old Testament matriarch - has become a ghost town. Once bustling with markets and restaurants, Bethlehem's gateway district has been carved up by a cement wall corridor that allows Jewish worshippers to visit the holy site without being exposed to sniper fire."

Quotations from Christmas behind Israel's wall, in the Christian Science Monitor, December 22, 2005

Also, see:
Christmas pilgrims flock back to Bethlehem in shadow of Israeli barrier , December 24, 2005
Heavy turnout by Christmas worshippers lifts spirits in Bethlehem, December 25, 2005


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