Beit ‘Ur al-Tahta
The two villages of Beit ‘Ur – al-Tahta and al-Foqa – sit atop adjacent hills, two miles apart. Beit ‘Ur al-Tahta is located 11km west of Ramallah, in the central West Bank. What is left of the historic core is found in the southern part of the village, while the northern part is home to more modern homes.
The ruins of a Byzantine chapel have been found to the west of the village, along with ceramics and various other archaeological pieces. Bisecting the valley between the two Beit ‘Ur villages is the main Israeli highway to Tel Aviv, which Palestinians are not allowed to use.
Highway 433’s construction was challenged by a petition submitted to the Supreme Court of Israel, which rejected it. The road initially connected the Beit ‘Ur villages to Ramallah, but after the second intifada Palestinians were blocked from using it, and the construction of the separation barrier closed off access to the old road. Children in Beit ‘Ur al-Foqa have been forced to use sewage tunnels to teach school in the neighbouring village.
Population: 4,372 (2007)