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The Only Democracy? » Discrimination » Amira Hass: “Giving In To Settlers” in Beit Sahour

Amira Hass: “Giving In To Settlers” in Beit Sahour

Amira Hass traces the nibbling away of much of the land of the West Bank town of Beit Sahour for Jerusalem municipality and settlement expansion; the abandonment of an Israeli military base in 2007 opening the door for construction of a playground and hospital for Beit Sahour residents; and recent military orders declaring the area once again a closed military zone, and allowing construction of a guard tower there.  Both the settlers and Beit Sahour residents agree that the reason for the re-opened military zone is not, as the military claims, for security, but is the result of a vehement settler campaign to “stop Arab Construction” in this largely Christian town outside of Bethlehem.

For their part, the settlers say the tower will eventually be integrated into a Jewish city that will connect the Gush Etzion settlement bloc with the Jewish settlement of Har Homa in East Jerusalem. The Beit Sahur residents have no reason to doubt either the settlers or the Har Homa neighborhood committee chairman, who declared that, “This could become a reality, just as Har Homa spilled beyond what was planned and expected.”

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Carol Sanders was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. She is a retired legal services attorney and author of legal texts. She lived in Israel from 1963 to 1966, where she worked on a kibbutz, did graduate studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and served as an assistant to the then-mayor of Jerusalem, Teddy Kollek. Carol is a long-time activist with Jewish Voice for Peace, and is the JVP representative to the Middle East Advisory Committee and a member of Bay Area Women in Black.

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