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Trapped in our own land
[Daily Edition]
Jerusalem Post - Jerusalem
Author: Kuttab, Daoud
Date: Apr 13, 2005
Start Page: 13
Section: Opinion
Abstract (Document Summary)

The latest edition of the Al Hala weekly chose the song title as its headline because of an expected Israeli decision that would force Palestinians living in east Jerusalem to apply for a permit in order to enter nearby Ramallah. Some 10,000 Palestinians reportedly commute between Jerusalem and Ramallah.

At first, Palestinians heading south toward Jerusalem were only slightly delayed by the checkpoint placed now at the A-Ram junction in north Jerusalem. The fact that Jewish settlers used the same road meant soldiers seldom allowed back-ups to develop. Then the Israelis built a bypass road for Jewish traffic and the army began taking its time processing Palestinians vehicles.

This went on until the outbreak of the Aksa Intifada in September 2000. Next, a new checkpoint was created at Kalandia, creating problems for people trying to get in and out of Ramallah. The movement of Palestinians between Jerusalem and Ramallah was further held up as cars and individuals were searched. People started parking their cars at either side of Kalandia and then taking a a taxi. Cars with PA license plates - even those belonging to doctors and journalists - have been prevented from crossing the Green Line.

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