Soccer by the Wall

Palestinians play soccer next to Israel’s Separation Wall (al-jidar), which snakes around the West Bank town of Abu Dis on the outskirts of East Jerusalem, July 16, 2004.


Pedro Ugarte/AFP via Getty Images

This photo was taken two years after Israel began building its illegal Separation Wall, which severed East Jerusalem from the West Bank. Commonly referred to by Palestinians as al-jidar or the Apartheid Wall, this structure snakes through the Eastern (Palestinian) side of Jerusalem. For the neighborhood of Abu Dis, where this photo was taken, the wall completely isolated it from the city, drastically reshaping and fragmenting the Palestinian communities living on both sides. Before the wall, Abu Dis was considered by Palestinians as a suburb of Jerusalem and its fabric of life was interwoven with the city’s—economically, educationally, medically, and in every other way.

Despite the wall and myriad other Israeli policies aimed at asphyxiating Palestinian life, the resilience of the Palestinian people is evident in many ways, such as enjoying a soccer game in the wall’s shadow as shown here.