Palestinians on statehood: 'We want action, not votes at the UN'
Harriet Sherwood in al-Walaja
"I am a simple man," he says, leaning on his sturdy walking stick. "I don't know about politics. But from my life experience, I don't think we will gain anything. What is left, after the settlements, the military zones, the wall, the bypass roads? You think you can build a state on a few scattered villages?
"If the UN is supportive of the Palestinians, they should stop Israel from doing all this. Talk is easy. What's important is what is happening on the ground."
It is a view shared by many Palestinians. As world leaders engage in frantic last-minute diplomacy in an attempt to avoid a damaging car crash of competing interests in New York, Palestinians shrug and get on with lives governed by checkpoints, permits, house demolitions, land confiscation and harassment from Jewish settlers. A vote at the UN, they say, will not end Israel's occupation.
The story of Atrash, 68, and his village, al-Walaja, which perches on terraced hills between the ancient cities of Jerusalem and Bethlehem, is the history of the Palestinian people over more than six decades....READ MORE