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Israel steps-up pressure on Issawiya village with blockades

14 November 2010 | Wadi Hilweh Information Center & ISM

Issawiya, Jerusalem – Today large concrete blocks were laid across Issawiya village’s north-eastern entrance by Israeli troops, marking the second time in three days that the entrance has been physically blockaded by the military. The blocks, aside from severely obstructing village traffic, confirm residents’ fears of what appears to be Israeli authorities’ strategic isolation of Issawiya village.

Thursday, November 10th, Issawiya witnessed clashes between Palestinian youth and Israeli forces. Israeli police, accompanied by troops from the Israeli army, surrounded the village and closed off all but the easternmost entrance to the village, the furthest entrance from Jerusalem, following the clashes which erupted between Israeli troops and residents of the village. In doing so, the police carried out a collective punishment over the more than 18,000 Palestinians who live in the village.

Many of Issawiya’s 18,000 inhabitants, all of whom are Palestinian, fear that the road blocks are indicative of the village’s position being earmarked for a more permanent isolation from the rest of Jerusalem: the route of the illegal Apartheid wall. One resident stated that “what is happening here in Issawiya is a form of collective punishment, meted out by the Israeli authorities. Many people here are subjected to harassment and intimidation by the Israeli tax department, who are waging a campaign of fines and financial punishment on Palestinians in Jerusalem. This new development of the physical isolation of our community comes merely as the next level of pressure applied by the authorities.”