Al Walaja: international law analysis

The village of Al Walaja, located nine kilometers southwest of the Old City of Jerusalem and four kilometers northwest of Bethlehem, has a population of more than 2,000. Almost all of the village’s residents are registered as ‘Palestine refugees’ with UNRWA.

The original village was destroyed by Israeli forces during the 1948 war and thereafter, forcing its residents to flee to, or set up improvised homes in an area that became the current village of Al Walaja, situated on the then‐Jordanian administered side of the 1949 Armistice demarcation line (“Green Line”), and what is now Israeli occupied Palestinian territory (“oPt”).3 After the cessation of major hostilities in 1949, some 70% of the lands belonging to the old village were lost to Israel as such land fell on the Israeli side of the Green Line.