KHIRBET KHAMIS | BETHLEHEM
❝Our lives have become so complicated, and we are under enormous pressure, psychological, financial and social.❞
Now home to a few dozens, Khirbet Khamis was among several communities that were incorporated into the Jerusalem municipal
boundary and unilaterally annexed to Israel.
However, unlike the vast majority of Palestinians in the annexed areas, Khirbet Khamis’ residents were issued West Bank, instead of Jerusalem, ID cards. As a result, under Israeli law, they are considered “illegal residents” in their own homes.
Khirbet Khamis has become an ❝open
air prison❞ for its residents, says Fuad
Jado, a 55-year-old father of five.
❝Sometimes the soldiers throw them away if they think the quantities exceed our daily consumption; other times we do it
ourselves to avoid waiting for permission
❝What are we supposed to do? They don’t allow us to shop in Jerusalem, so we sometimes have no choice but to rely on friends from Jerusalem to buy things
for us or risk going to Jerusalem markets
Of particular concern to the community,
access to emergency service providers,
including ambulances and fire
brigades, has been impaired.
On several occasions, the inability to timely access emergency health service had had
tragic consequences; Fuad Jado recalls
one incident in 2005:
❝I lost my 70-year-old mother because the ambulance couldn’t reach us after she
suffered a severe stroke.
❝I had no choice but to carry my mother with the help of my nephew. We walked for nearly a kilometre until we found a gap in the Barrier. We left my mother there and went to look for a taxi to take her to Bethlehem.
❝When we came back she had died. At the hospital they told us that we had arrived too late. It would have taken only three minutes for an Israeli ambulance to reach us from Gilo, so maybe she could have been saved.❞