Jamil lives in the beautiful village of al-Walaja, just a 20 minute drive from southwest Jerusalem. His home, along with approximately 60 other homes in the village, lies under the specter of a demolition order from Israel. With the assistance of grassroots Israeli activists and NGOs, Walaja has rolled up its sleeves and taken upon itself the costly task of preparing a zoning plan with the hope of legalizing existing structures in the village and allowing families like Jamil’s to expand and grow. In March 2022, the Israeli Supreme Court and the State indicated their approval for the village to begin planning, and as requested, the village’s lawyer reported to the Court in November 2022, June 2023 and December 2023 ,Walaja’s significant progress with the plan.
Getting the green light from the State for the preparation of a plan is a victory in itself, and the planning process is going well. To succeed, we will need two things:
1) good will on the part of the State and planning authorities; and
2) funding. In May 2023, Ameinu’s fundraising drive, together with co-sponsors Americans for Peace Now, Truah, and Telos, and the guidance of Israeli NGOs Ir Amim and Bimkom, managed to raise close to $90,000 toward this plan. The process of getting a zoning plan approved, however, takes several years and requires the labor of dozens of planning professionals; all in all, the process will total close to a million shekels ($300,000).
Your continued support will help ensure that Jamil and hundreds of other children in Walaja will be able to build a future.