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Reference : V-P-IL-E-02890
Date : 03/03/2016
Caption : West Bank, Azzoun Atmeh village. From the top of his roof, this man can see all the dunums of land he cannot access since a month, since the rerouting of the barrier.
Photographer : MAGDA AND ANDREA
Confidentiality level : public
Publication restrictions : publication without restrictions
Copyright : ICRC/Andrea and Magda
Description : « The olive trees that I have on the other side of the wall can give up to 65 gallons in a good year. If I cannot access it anymore, I will lose everything: on our side of the wall, I can make at most 3 gallons a year. For the construction of new wall they have also uprooted 150 trees. If I am not allowed to go to take care of them, they will die soon”, said this resident, worried to know if he will be given the permission to access the land, when the olive oil is his main income.
In 2003, the erection of the West Bank Barrier enclaved the entire village of Azzoun Atmeh, in the North of the West Bank. The construction of an additional fence in 2009 completely isolated nine of the village’s families from the rest of their community, and made their freedom of movement the most restricted of all. The latter families, around 70 people, had to go through not only one but two checkpoints every time they exited or entered the village, making visiting relatives or friends or going about everyday tasks a significant enterprise. While the main checkpoint situated at the village’s entrance was open all the time, the one situated at the entrance of the smaller enclave was closed between 9pm and 6am the next day.
In 2015, almost 12 years after the Barrier’s construction, Israeli authorities rerouted the Barrier and dismantled the additional fence, enabling Azzoun Atmeh’s residents to re-discover life without the checkpoints which had divided them and hindered their movements for so long. Though the new path of the barrier still restricts a number of villagers’ access to large parts of their agricultural land, the dismantling was a significant step forward and improved the villagers’ freedom of movement and the community’s social cohesion.
Throughout this time, the ICRC remained in close contact with the community and concerned authorities to solve problems during emergencies or to facilitate access for the Palestine Red Crescent ambulances, health visitors, or persons in need of medical treatment.
Original material : digital
Resolution : 4800x3200
Orientation : landscape
Colour/B&W : colour