Eight metres high. That is twice the height of the Berlin Wall. With watchtowers and a buffer zone for electric fences and military patrols, the Wall surrounds Bethlehem.
It is part of a 708-kilometre-long separation barrier of which 15% runs along the agreed Green Line, while 85% of it encroaches into Palestine, splitting communities, villages and cities alike.
On one side of the wall, a ‘western’ world thrives. On the other, an ‘eastern’ world is shackled, its every move monitored with cameras, sensors, and hundreds of checkpoints. Somewhere in between, in the ‘seam zone’ flanked by the Green Line and the separation barrier are 25,000 Palestinians living on 9% of Palestine, neither here nor there, and requiring a permit to exist.
Travel is not always about pretty candy floss sights. At times it is also about harsh realities, often painful and ugly.
I had heard a lot about the Wall. Yet, the actual sight of it was overwhelming. Hard to digest. Sending shivers down my spine. Continue reading