Thursday, July 25, 2013

Jerusalem from Har Gilo

A couple of weeks ago a friend of mine took me up to the top of Har Gilo (Mt. Gilo), which is just south of Jerusalem, across the Green Line (the border that used to exist between Israel and Jordan from 1949 to 1967). As my last post notes, Israeli settlements on the other side of the Green Line are not recognized as legitimate by any other state, but that has not stopped the Israeli government from either deliberately planning them or allowing them to be built. Har Gilo is right next to the Palestinian village of Walaje. Israel has almost entirely enclosed Walaje with the separation wall, even though since 1967, Walaje is within the Israeli-defined Jerusalem municipal boundaries.

In this map (a screenshot from Google Maps), the 1949 armistice line is represented by the dotted grey line.

After the 1967 war, Israel annexed east Jerusalem and a good deal of other land north and south of the city, including where Walaje is. This map shows the post-1967 municipal boundaries. I've marked where Har Gilo is. It's from PASSIA (Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs).

And here are some of my photographs from the visit to Har Gilo. The first two are of Jerusalem north from Har Gilo.

In the top of the photo you can see the Chords Bridge, at the western entrance of Jerusalem.

The hideous tall building in the center of the photograph is of the tower from the Holyland apartment development, surrounded by less tall but equally ugly buildings. Several people have been convicted of corruption in the building of the development.
On the horizon, the left hand tower is part of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem at Mt. Scopus. The right hand tower is on the Mt. of Olives.

We're looking north towards the Jerusalem Zoo. The low building with a domed roof close to us is of the aviary.
Part of Walaje. Notice the high concrete wall - this is the separation wall, cutting of Walaje from the rest of Jerusalem.
Another photo of Walaje, also showing the separation wall, and beyond it, a large cleared area - for what, I don't know.
A view from Har Gilo towards the west, I think - I don't know what the hill we're looking toward is.

I took this photo on our way back to Jerusalem because I wanted a picture of the misty hills going off in the distance. I'm not sure what this view shows.

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