One thousand Palestinian residents of Beit Iksa village, north-west of Jerusalem became unaware of their future while the Shin Bet security service and the Israeli Defense Ministry are debating on the future of the village.
Israeli online daily, Haaretz, reported on Wednesday that the Shin Bet is demanding that Beit Iksa should be singled out of Jerusalem, while the Israeli Defense Ministry insists that the village should remain “on the Israeli side of the Wall”.
Haaretz said that the Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, discovered this dispute while touring along the Separation Wall area around Jerusalem.
Lt. Colonel Danny Tirza, head of the Seam Zone Administration, told Sharon during the tour that this dispute between the Shin Bet and the Defense Ministry is “delaying” the construction of the separation Wall North West of Jerusalem.
Tirza added that the current agreement leaves the village inside the Wall area.
Israeli security officials said on Tuesday that the shin Bet believes that the 10.000 Palestinians living in Beit Iksa, a few hundred meters away from Ramot neighborhood in Jerusalem, should be isolated from Jerusalem by being outside the Wall area.
Meanwhile, the Israeli Defense Ministry fears that the villagers would petition to the High Court against this decision, therefore it prefers to include it inside the Wall area in order to avoid further delays to the construction.
During a tour at the settlements of Har Adar and Mevaseret Zion, in Jerusalem, officials at the settlements councils told Sharon that they are “worried that the Wall is only 300 Meters away from schools and public buildings in the settlements which might subject them to Palestinian attacks”.
Sharon rejected the claims and said that he “is worried not by a distance of 300 or 600 meters from the Wall”, “Israel will not remain under the mercy of the Palestinians”, Sharon said, “Any measures Israel takes there are meant to assure the life of the Israelis living in that area”.
Also, Sharon added that he will not change the route of the Wall again merely due to dangers of infiltration.
The Separation Wall around Beit Iksa will completely isolate it from its surrounding; it is isolated from the south by the Green Line, which separates the West Bank from Israel, and is completely surrounded by settlements from the west, east and north.
Har Adar settlement is constructed west of the village; Ramot Alon and Reskhis Shu’fat are constructed in the east of Beit Iksa, while Nabi Samuel, Givon Hahadasha, and Givat Zeev are surrounding it from the north.
When the wall route is completed around Beit Iksa, it will be completely isolated from the Palestinian towns of Beit Hanina, Bir Nibala, Al Jadeera, Al Jeeb and Qalandia. Residents of Biddu, Beit Surik, Al Teera and other villages will also be unable to enter Beit Iksa.
While the Defense and security establishments dispute over the route of the Wall, some 10000 Palestinians of Beit Iksa remain unaware of their future which remains under the mercy of huge concrete walls, and the surrounding settlements.
Palestinians around Jerusalem are also subjected to direct threats of isolation by the Israeli settlement plans, especially the EJ 1 project which intends to link Maali Adumim settlement with the east of Jerusalem by building 3000 units, and a police station there.