Northern Bethlehem's Al Nu'man Village is enveloped from all sides by
the Wall and residents cannot come or go without passing through an
Israeli controlled gate.

On Sunday Israeli forces occupying the village to the east of Beit Sahour allowed dozens of settler cars from the southern Efrat and western Betar Illit settlements to drive through the village. The settlements were built on southern and eastern Bethlehem lands and the settlers drove through the gates, passed through Har Homa Settlement, built on Abu Ghanaim Mountain, and into Jerusalem.

The move came only two days after some 150 settlers demonstrated on settler Road 60 at the eastern edge of Al Khader Village, demanding the confiscation of more Palestinian land to make the drive to Jerusalem quicker. Driving through Al Nu'man Village is approximately eight kilometers, while going on Road 60 through confiscated Beit Jala lands is 20 kilometers.

Chairman of the Land Defense Committee said that Israeli soldiers opening the gate of the Wall and allowing settlers to drive through the center of the village is a "very serious matter" and "would lead to the deterioration of an already devastated situation."

The Land Defense Committee chairperson explained. "It poses a threat to the lives of citizens, especially schoolchildren who walk along the village street everyday on their way to school in Beit Sahour after passing the Wall gate.

"Additionally such a step constitutes a threat to the entire village as it is imagined that the settlers' ambitions do not stop there. Al Nu'man Village was already threatened after the presence of the Wall.

All directions are isolated. It is next to Abu Ghanaim Mountain, now overtaken for Har Homa Settlement, has a mountain view of Jerusalem, 5,000 Dunams of good soil, and is next to the village of Sur Baher. For all of this the village has become a target for the Israelis."