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al-Jdeira
Population
2800 1
Location
9km NW of Jerusalem
Area in Dunums
1755
Jurisdiction
Area B & C
Brief

Al-Jdeira is a Palestinian village located on a hilltop northwest of Jerusalem. In Arabic the word “al-Jdeira” means “a construction that is surrounded by walls.”2 The community there is characterised by close familial ties. As one of the villages in the Bir Nabala enclave, al-Jdeira has seen land confiscation and restrictions on movement brought on by the construction of the Annexation Wall.

History and Background

The village is bordered by Qalandia to the east, Rafat to the north, al-Jib to the west, and Bir Nabala to the south.3 It was once the site of a large Roman stockyard from which the village likely takes its name. The village was part of the Canaanite Kingdom of Givon and some of its buildings date back to the Roman era. There is an old mosque in the village that goes back to the Islamic era called the “al-Omari Mosque.” Among the village's outstanding antiquities is a cave etched in the rock believed to have operated as a prison by the Romans. The village well provided residents with water for centuries but was destroyed by the Israeli occupation following the construction of a bypass road which also resulted in the confiscation of large portions of the village's lands.

Social & Economic Life

Due to its fertile agricultural land, al-Jdeira is famous for its beautiful, green landscape. Its cash crops include olives, figs, wheat, vegetables and grapes. Planting olives is not simply a main source of income for the villagers; it is also a form of resistance. On 11 March 2013, villagers planted thousands of olive trees on a-Shaqf Mountain to demonstrate their ownership of the land and in response to Israel's attempts to confiscate the lands to construct the Annexation Wall.4 The residents of al-Jdeira are traditionally known for their skill in manufacturing marble and ceramics. Today, the village is home to a glass factory.

There are no NGOs in the village, however there are a number of local organisations including the Women Association established in 2009.

Al-Jdeira’s Association for Development was established by youth from the village on 27 July 2009, and its new headquarters were inaugurated in June 2012. The association also has a bodybuilding club.5

Challenges for the Community

Once famous for its fertile agricultural lands, al-Jdeira has become a closed rural enclave surrounded on all sides by the Annexation Wall. Four communities are trapped inside: al-Jdeira, Beit Hanina al Balad, Bir Nabala and al-Jib. They face similar challenges: land confiscation, colonial expansion, isolation from Jerusalem by the Annexation Wall, restrictions imposed on their freedom of movement, denial of access to agricultural lands on the far side of the wall, and lack of proper infrastructure. About one quarter of al-Jdeira’s land was confiscated by the Israeli occupation to build the Givat Ze'ev colony, the construction of the apartheid bypass Road 45 and the Wall.

al-Jdeira