53. Photo Essay - Bawabe: A Roadblock to Normal Life
Israel "Separation Wall" is disrupting the lives of countless communities in the West Bank. This is the story of just a few of them. The village of Al-Izariyyeh is famous as the biblical village of Bethany. It was the home of Mary and Martha and of course their brother Lazarus, who the gospel tells us was raised from the dead by Jesus. The site of the tomb of Lazarus is still a major site for Christian pilgrims. But the lives of the people of Al-Izariyyeh as well as the neighboring villages of Sawahreh and Abu Dis are being disrupted by the construction of the Wall. In many cases, the necessities of daily life, such as getting to work or school, are being rendered practically impossible. A Catholic monastery, which sits on the borderline where the three towns meet, has had its walls breached as the Wall cuts its path. Ecumenical Accompaniers Jeremy Routledge of South Africa and Anna Seifert of the United Kingdom compiled this photo essay at the Bawabe barrier, located at the confluence of the three towns and perpendicular to the monastery.
Barriers and roadblocks to normal life keep being put up but the local population keeps trying to find ways go on. This barbed wire was removed only moments later by some determined travelers and free movement was restored, if only temporarily.
It is a barrier to any semblance of normal activity and a source of constant harassment.
"I would like to visit my brother in East Jerusalem," could be one of the things this man is telling the Israeli soldier.
Border Police control the passage of Palestinian people to and from Jerusalem at Bawabe.
Shared taxis, usually beat-up Ford Transits known locally as "serveeses," take advantage of the fact that Israel has blocked the road to all traffic and shuttle people from either side of the barrier.
The Bawabe barrier blocks vehicles and hinders pedestrians on their way to and from Jerusalem. This route is used daily by workers, students, families, and neighbors.