Inside Israel and the Palestinian Territories
Ordinary women and men, wearing plastic bags on their feet, pulling pants up to knee level, clutch their children to their chests and roam along a 110-metre dark tunnel of sewage to cross from the Israeli-occupied West Bank to East Jerusalem.
Erected under a barrier that Israel is building in the West Bank in defiance of a World Court ruling, the tunnel serves as a gateway connecting Palestinians from the West Bank to East Jerusalem, a centre for medical, social, religious and other services for the Palestinians.
The passage goes from the village of Old Beit Hanina in the West Bank to the area also called Beit Hanina in what Israel has annexed as part of its Jerusalem municipality. It was first used in early 2004, locals say, when Israel erected the barrier between the two Beit Haninas. What was originally essentially one village became physically divided in two. The tunnel was last used during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan in late September by people anxious to visit family or to pray in Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa mosque. Israel restricts entry for Palestinians to the city. Since then Israel has blocked off the passage — not for the first time.
Scenes of people’s legs sinking up to the knee in sewage are depicted in ”Journey 110″ by Palestinian artist Khaled Jarrar, who spent six hours capturing the 12-minute-long clip last year.
Click below to view a multimedia presentation by Sharon Perry showcasing some of the best Reuters images from Israel and the Palestinian Territories during the week of August 24-31, 2009.