Video: Going to school under Israeli occupation

A Palestinian woman watches her sheep on grazing lands on the other side of the route of the Separation Wall, March 2013. Once the Wall is completed, it will virtually surround Al-Walaja village, and the village will have lost some 85% of its agricultural lands and a painful share of its cultural heritage.

The Electronic Intifada  / September 5, 2019


Omar Hajajleh is a local school bus driver in the occupied West Bank village of al-Walaja. Al-Walaja lies between the city of Bethlehem and occupied East Jerusalem.

In 2015, Israel built its separation wall directly through Hajajleh’s land, cutting off his family home from the rest of the village. The only way for the family to access the village is through a tunnel and past a steel gate that only they can open with a remote control.

A series of walls and barriers placed by Israeli occupation forces separates the children of al-Walaja village from their school.

Hajajleh found himself uniquely positioned to take local children to school as only he has access to the valley leading to it.

As is shown in the video, Hajajleh takes the children halfway to school in one bus and walks them past a permanent Israeli roadblock. He then loads the children onto a second vehicle and continues to school.

Hajajleh fears that the road he takes may soon be closed off by the wall, which is being expanded by Israeli occupation forces.

Video by Akram al-Wa’ra.