As attacks on Israel increased, a military embargo followed, making life harder for the villagers. The Israeli West Bank security barrier being built will isolate the village from Jerusalem and separate the residents from their farmland.
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Al-Walaja resident Ahmad Sallah Barghout said, "Most lands remain behind the barrier. We cannot access them. They also uproot trees, and it feels as if living in a cage, being surrounded with a fence. It destroys our livelihood, ruins the landscape, and destroys our future."
Video courtesy of NTD Television
It is not only the lands which remain outside the barrier. "In 2010 the barrier passed right outside our house, which remained the only house on this side. It's the only house which remains. We are now connected to the village via a tunnel," said resident Omar Hagage.
"And now they are about to build an electronic fence surrounding our house, like a small prison surrounded by all four sides."
"Friends of al-Walaja", a group of Jerusalem residents, volunteer in helping the villagers create a better life for themselves.
"I don't like using the word 'aid', as if we only come to aid and go. As far as I'm concerned, we work together," said Aviv, one of the volunteers. The people of Al-Walaja are harmed by the current situation much worse than I am, and I care a lot about their situation."
Reprinted with permission from NTD Television
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