Abu Ghneim, West Bank becomes the settlement, Har Homa, Greater Jerusalem
Abu Ghneim was a green recreation site with a unique ecosystem that belonged to the people of the municipality of Bethlehem. Har Homa, a Jewish settlement, was built on its stolen land, an uncanny fortress-like entity. It occupies a place of dominance, of insult, of triumphalism. It is a constant reminder for the Palestinians of their great losses and the power of Israel. The settlement occupies and distorts the sense of space in the landscape of Palestine and the place of Palestinians in it. It is one of over 140 settlements built on stolen land since 1967.
In June 1967, following the Six-Day War, Israel occupied the West Bank and annexed Palestinian parts of Jerusalem, 28 villages, and Abu Ghneim mountain. The Jewish area of West Jerusalem tripled and Abu Ghneim became part of Greater Jerusalem. This was the first step in the implementation of Israel's master plan to create a Jerusalem that would be wholly Jewish and thus not the shared capital of Palestine and Israel, as mandated by the UN. In 1991 Israel ordered the expropriation of Abu Ghneim and approved plans for Har Homa, a 6500 unit housing project. A protracted struggle ensued in the courts, through non-violent actions, and international interventions. In 1997 Israeli bulldozers started the construction of Har Homa and in 2000 the first settlers moved in.
For more information:
Applied Research Institute Jerusalem: http://www.arij.org
Land Research Centre: http://www.lrcj.org
Palestine Environmental NGO's Network: http://www.pengon.org
Palestine Remembered: http://www.palestineremembered.com
In 2006, I lived in Beit Sahour for 3 months under the looming illegal settlement-fortress of Har Homa. I learned the history of it, how the small mountain, Abu Ghneim, with its unique mini-environment of flora and fauna, a space for recreation and contemplation of nature for Palestinians in the surrounding area, had been leveled, destroyed in order to build Har Homa, after a long process of legal battles and non-violent actions.
The building of Har Homa, which then became part of ‘Greater Jerusalem’ was a statement of Israel’s determined intent to Judaize all of Jerusalem. That process now is at full speed with Israel adding more units to Har Homa, with the destruction and ethnic cleansing of Palestinian East Jerusalem, and the building of more Jewish settlements there.
Curator's note: This poster was submitted to Fuse Magazine's 30th Anniversary Poster Project