YNetNews By: Oded Shalom
Two settlers, a Palestinian and two leftist activists are opposed to the resumed construction of the security fence around Efrat; ‘We don’t want a fence to separate us,’ said the mayor.
We stood above Wadi Gilo, the bottom of which was too deep for us to see, and we futilely tried to enjoy the view. Not much is left of the original natural landscape. The tunnel highway crosses the valley south of the bridge, with Beit Jala perched above it. Opposite Beit Jala is Jerusalem’s Gilo neighborhood.
Yaron Rosenthal, principal of the Kfar Etzion Field School, lamented the destroyed terraces and the smashed rocks on Mount Gilo. Aviv Tatarsky, a left-wing activist and researcher at Ir Amim, opposed the Israeli appropriation of the ridge: “We know the place’s original name was Walaja Ridge.”
Three heavy drills bore into the slope. A jeep with security guards stopped next to us to find out what we were doing at the separation barrier construction site. A settler and two left-wing activists meet on a rocky hilltop in front of a settlement and Palestinian village. It sounds like the beginning of a confrontation, but this time it was a rare case of agreement between settlers, left-wing activists and Palestinians. Everyone here was against the barrier. Its construction was recently resumed on the prime minister’s order to immediately complete the fence around Jerusalem following a wave of attacks in recent months.
Aviv Tatarsky and Dolev Sheleff tried unsuccessfully to help the Walaja residents in their struggle against the separation fence that is supposed to surround their village. Rosenthal, a settler, also opposed the fence, since it harms the environment and the rights of the Palestinian residents. Later he was joined by another opponent, Oded Revivi, who is the head of the Efrat Municipal Council.