Israeli Wall Fuels Migration

Palestinians With Economic, Social Services Ties to Jewish State Are Integrating Neighborhoods That Won't Be Blocked by Barrier

JERUSALEM -- Samih Bashir, a Palestinian lawyer, plans to move early next year to a large house with two living rooms, three bathrooms and a big backyard where his four children can play. It is in a Jerusalem neighborhood called French Hill -- a part of the city that Israel says will never become part of a Palestinian state. Bashir worries that his current neighborhood, Beit Hanina, would end up under Palestinian control if the two sides ever reach a peace deal. ...

"They're talking about giving this area back to the Palestinians, and then we would be stuck here," Bashir, who holds Israeli citizenship, said of Beit Hanina. "My wife works in the Jerusalem municipality as a social worker. How would she get to her job if this area becomes Palestinian?" ...

"This is a greater blurring of the distinctions between Jewish and Arab neighborhoods than anything we've seen since 1967," he said. "Palestinians cannot allow themselves to be trapped on the Palestinian side of the wall lest they be plummeted into poverty. They are culturally, politically and religiously tied to the West Bank, but economically connected to Israel."

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