111 Kilometers, One day: A Journey between Ma'ale Adumim Settlement and Tel Aviv
Photos by: Mareike Lauken and Keren Manor
Our journey begins in Ma'ale Adumim, one of 124 Israeli settlements established in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (oPT) since 1967. With its green lush palm trees, olive tree roundabouts and parks, the settlement of Ma'ale Adumim stands in stark contrast to the surrounding semi-arid environment.
Not far from the settlement we find the Arab al-Jahalin Bedouin communities who exist with no access to water or electricity services while facing the constant fear of being displaced for the second or third time.
As we drive towards Jerusalem we can see on our right a new section of the Israeli separation wall and we cross to the 'other side' through a new checkpoint. It seems that the life opportunities of the people in Shu'fat refugee camp are even more blocked than before.
We cross the checkpoint again and this time we are stopped by the Israeli soldiers. Half an hour later we are allowed to continue to Jerusalem, thanks to us having the 'correct passports'.
We cross the city from East to West and despite the fact that in Israel the annexation of East Jerusalem is considered to be the 'reunification' of the city, we found two very different realities between east and west Jerusalem. While in the eastern part we see neglected neighborhoods, a massive police and army presence, traces of demolished houses and more new segregated Jewish settlements, life in the west seems much more comfortable.
We go out of the city and reach Qalandiya checkpoint in the late afternoon. The few Palestinian workers, who have a permit to work in Israel, are just passing the checkpoint on their way home. We continue to road 443, on our way home. The sun is going down, We can already see the skyline of Tel Aviv only 30km from the Fences, Roadblocks, watch towers, settlements and checkpoints that accompany us on our way out of the West Bank.