In West Bethlehem, between al-Khader and the villages to be isolated in a ghetto on the west side of the Wall, Israeli forces have begun building a tunnel under the settler-only road. This construction and the associated land devastation will finalize the isolation of the villages into a ghetto, completely surrounded by the Israeli Wall and isolated from the rest of Palestine.
Previously, on November 21, 2005, Israeli forces confiscated 85 dunum from Battir, Beit Jala and al-Khader villages to build a tunnel under Road 60, which links the settlements in Jerusalem to those in Hebron district. Located close to al-Khader, the settlers-only road is an integral part of the Wall path and completes it.
On the other side of al-Khader is another segment of Wall, meant to separate the village from a high-speed train for Israelis-only that will speed past the village on the way to Tel Aviv. Commissioned by a French company, which has been been boycotted by various groups for their "business interest in the ghettoization of Palestine", the high speed train is being constructed directly on the land of Al Khader and other villages, annexing a large amount of the villagers land for Israel, and completing the circle that will enclose al Khader and neighboring villages into a ghetto.
Once the tunnel on the east side of the villages is completed, all other passages can be closed and the Palestinians who wish to leave their village for work, school, hospital, visits or any other reason will be channelled and controlled (and quite possibly spit on, stoned and shot at by Israelis on the Israelis-only road above, if the experience of Palestinians in Hebron, under a similar arrangement, hae found) under the Jewish-only bypass. 18,000 people in the villages of West Bethlehem will soon be completely isolated. Al-Khader, on the other side of the Wall, will be isolated from lands cultivated with vegetables, grapes and almonds that remain within the boundaries of the West Bethlehem ghetto. Not only will Nahallin, Battir, al-Walaje, Husan and Wadi Fuqin be completely imprisoned, but the Israeli government recently approved the expansion of Betar Illit settlement, which will confiscate much of the villages’ remaining lands. The latest plans will expropriate 400 dunum from the Palestinian villages for the sake of Zionist settlers.