Jerusalem Separation Barrier Falls After Storm, Residents Celebrate

Residents of Shoafat refugee camp celebrated the incident, which happened in the same area last year and in 2013

Israeli policemen and Palestinian residents look at a section of Israel's West Bank barrier that collapsed after heavy rain in Shuafat refugee camp in East Jerusalem February 27, 2019.

A part of the separation barrier in the Shoafat refugee camp in East Jerusalem collapsed on Wednesday due to stormy weather.

Overnight, more than 20 millimeters of rain fell in Jerusalem, and strong rainfall currents caused the ground on which the separation wall is built to collapse. A few residents of the camp, in the city's notheast, celebrated the incident, which happened in the same area last year and in 2013.

Shoafat refugee camp, like other East Jerusalem neighborhoods, was included in the municipal borders of the city and declared to be within the borders of the State of Israel by a government decision taken in 1967.

The Palestinians there were recognized as permanent residents of Israel and given the option of applying for Israeli citizenship. They carry Israeli identity cards and are entitled to the benefits of residents of the state and are obliged to meet the obligations that come with the status. There is no difference between their status and that of the Palestinian residents of other East Jerusalem neighborhoods. 

>> 15 years of separation: The Palestinians cut off from Jerusalem by the wall

Therefore, residents of Shofat are allowed to enter Jerusalem - but it is not so simple. The West Bank separation barrier, constructed in 2003, separates Shoafat from the rest of the city, compelling its residents to navigate checkpoints.

Shoafat has 30,000 people, but about 90,000 people, constituting between a quarter and third of the Palestinian inhabitants of East Jerusalem, live in the neighborhoods “left” on the wrong side of the wall, outside Jerusalem proper.