The continuing illegal settlement activities in the West Bank are making life for the 100,000 Palestinians in Area “C” – 61% of the West Bank – very difficult. Most illegal settlements are found in this Area which is under full Israeli control. Scores of Palestinian villages are affected as their lands had been expropriated and as they are in the proximity of the separation wall. Besides having to deal with the effects of expanding illegal settlement activity, the Palestinian farmers have to cope with water problems as the water carrier infrastructure remains inefficient or in many cases nonexistent.
DSPR Jerusalem and West Bank has had ongoing cooperation with local village communities, especially in the vicinity of the separation wall, to help them with agricultural activities and to ensure that their villages are eventually connected to potable water and to water for agricultural purposes.
Jerusalem has its own problems as out of an approximately one million population, forty percent are Palestinians. The poverty level accentuates the fact that eight out of every ten Palestinians living in Jerusalem are under the poverty line, as defined by Israel. There is almost a complete dependence on the Israeli labor market for Jerusalemites and the Israeli economic dominance limits the economic prospects for Palestinians, particularly the youth, in the city. With the separation wall cutting off Jerusalem from its Palestinian hinterland, trade gets affected as well as freedom of movement, family cohesion, economic opportunities or simply keeping the right to continue residing in the city. Housing is becoming inaccessible to young couples as it is three or four times as expensive as similar housing found in the West Bank.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.