I decided to make this to try and shed light on the Israeli-enforced segregation of roads within the West Bank.
In the images of the map, the town on the right is my hometown of Deir Dibwan. On the left is Ramallah, the de facto capital of Palestine. The two are a little less than two miles apart. Two miles, not that far, right? Hell, there’s even a direct road joining the two!
Using the road joining the two cities, outlines in blue in the first picture, it’s a little over 5 minutes driving to get from one to the other.
Israel has, however, restricted access to the road for Palestinians in order to “protect” the illegal and racist Israeli settlement of Psagot, established on Palestinian-owned land, yet completely restricted to all Palestinians. The road is now exclusively reserved for Israeli settlers only, and any Palestinian vehicles found driving on the road are subject to arrest, or target practice by the settlers.
Because of this closure, Palestinians are forced to use a very complicated series of unmarked roads to reach Ramallah, which have been highlighted in green in the second picture.
In order for a Palestinian from Deir Dibwan [or any of the surrounding regions, including every town and city to the East and South of Deir Dibwan] to reach Ramallah now, they must drive through the Palestinian towns of Baytein, Ein Yabrud, Dura al-Qare, Jifna, Beir Zeit, Abu Qash, Surda, and Al-Bireh.
The road connecting Deir Dibwan to Ramallah is approximately 2 miles in length. The length of road Palestinians must now drive instead totals approximately 22 miles. What was originally a 5 minutes trip is now almost an hour long.
Ramallah houses most of the regions schools, as well as serving as a hub of jobs for those living within the Ramallah Governate. My brothers and I would drive an hour each way to get to school everyday, with frequent checkpoints often doubling that time. My brothers, as well as every other Palestinian in the region who goes to school in Ramallah, to this day continue to follow this same route to school daily.
Palestinians have, however, established a sort of “shortcut”, which I have highlighted in red in the second picture that cuts from Dura, through Jalazon, and into Al-Bireh.
This road has managed to cut down on the time it takes to get to Ramallah, making it around a 35 minute trip. The issue with this road, however, is that Israel deems it as an “illegal road”, and subjects it to frequent closures, despite the fact that it avoids any Israeli Settlement and is completely on Palestinian land, meaning that by taking this road, it may cut down on the amount of time it takes to get to Ramallah, or it may greatly increase it if the IDF happen to be in the area and turn cars around.
This is just one of countless segregated roads in the West Bank, with every road showin in yellow on the maps being off-limits to Palestinians. Israeli settlements have completely cut off Palestinian towns from one another. The cut-off is so severe that towns with historical ties have now grown so far apart to the point that they have developed their own dialects and accents.
“How does Israel know if a Palestinian is driving on an Israeli-only road?”
Israeli cars have yellow license plates
While Palestinian cars have green ones
So a green-plated car seen driving on an Israeli road is subject to being stopped and arrested, or simply shot at by Israeli settlers, while Israeli vehicles are allowed to drive on any roads they choose. They are allowed to enter Palestinian villages, while Palestinians are absolutely forbidden from even approaching Israeli settlements without the threat of being shot.
Israel: The only
country left practicing such a barbaric system of apartheid democracy in the Middle East!