Broken Promises in the Promised Land

Shu'fat Refugee Camp

Out of the 19 Palestinian refugee camps in the West Bank, Shu'fat is unique in that it is located in the municipality of Jerusalem and is the responsibility of the Israeli state.

The camp is a microcosm of the occupation evolving from ethnic cleansing, historical events and military control.

It is the only camp that is impacted by the Separation Wall and has a checkpoint guarded by the IDF.

The camp is surrounded on three sides by the Wall and the residents have to show ID to exit and enter.

IIlegal Settlement Building

In 1982 Pisat Ze'ev was built just north of Shu'fat Camp. The red roofs in the picture illustrate the European gloss generally found in settlement architecture. It is illegal because it is behind the Armistice Green Line of 1949. It is named after the Zionist Ze'ev Jabotinsky, infamous for saying 'all colonization, even the most restricted, must continue in defiance of the will of the native population,' mirroring the settler colonialism and apartheid nature of Zionism.

Even rubbish collection reflects the apartheid characteristics of the Occupation. In general, Palestinians do not have adequate rubbish disposal facilities hence the unwelcome accumulation on their streets as you can see in the video (below). In sharp contrast, the streets of the settlements like Pisat Ze'ev will be pristine.

Continued Ethnic Cleansing

Israel continues to build homes for Jewish people at will and annex the West Bank by stealth. Part of this annexation can be seen in Israeli plan for a Greater Jerusalem. Shu'fat Camp's proximity to Jerusalem and its continued refugee status makes it an easy target. In September 2018 over a dozen shops that lined the entrance to the camp were bulldozed, the army facilitated this by sealing the entry and exit points and placing snipers on the rooftops. These demolitions affected the livelihood of more than 60 families in a place that already struggles to exist economically; the demolition notices had only been issued a day earlier further underlining the brutality of this Occupation.

Supporting the Camp

West London Unite the Community has just formed a friendship group with Dr Salim Anati and any ideas you may have for this will be very welcome: email address.

For more information about the Shu'fat Camp and how it originated and a short video clip of present day conditions in the camp: