The fertile Cremisan Valley lies between the Palestinian village of Beit Jala and the Israeli settlement of Har Gilo near Bethlehem. Since 2006, the Israel Defense Force (IDF) has been planning on extending the Separation Barrier across the valley. If completed, this barrier would cut off 58 Palestinian families in Beit Jala from 850 acres of farmland in the valley, as well as preventing the children of Beit Jala from attending school at the nearby Catholic monastery and convent. While the Israeli High Court overruled the IDF’s building plans in April 2015, they reversed their decision later that year in August, allowing construction to go ahead.
Churches Call for Urgent Action for Cremisan Valley [World Council of Churches, 2017]
“Despite the International Court of Justice declaring its illegality, Israel continued the construction of the wall, dispossessing dozens of Palestinian Christian families in Cremisan for the benefit of illegal settlements. ‘As leaders of a church in the Holy Land, we are fighting against all odds to prevent further displacement that would be catastrophic for our future,’ stated Bdour, who is also the director of the Catholic Center for Studies and Media based in Amman, Jordan.” Read More
Land Grab in Cremisan Valley [National Catholic Recorder, 2015]
“Until now, litigation contesting these confiscations had succeeded in only two cases, the Cremisan Valley and nearby village of Battir, a UNESCO World Heritage site. An earlier ruling of the Israeli High Court had forestalled the construction of the wall through the Cremisan Valley, but on Aug. 6 the court ruled that the earlier decision applied only to the Salesian property. It will remain undivided on the Palestinian side of the wall.” Read More