|The Palestine Monitor A PNGO Information Clearinghouse UPDATE|
New Apartheid Wall construction in two villages near Ramallah – New Israeli measures to isolate and annex East Jerusalem 23 February 2005
Three days ago Israel began building a new section of its illegal Apartheid Wall in the Palestinian villages of Bil’in and Saffa west of Ramallah. Six Israeli bulldozers along with Israeli occupation forces have started breaking ground on Palestinian private property in preparation for laying the foundations of the structure.
The Wall in this area is up to six kilometers from the Green Line, deep inside West Bank territory. It will isolate about 50% of the two villages’ land behind the Wall, separating villagers from their olive trees and agricultural and grazing lands. Workers there will also not be able to reach Israel to go to work.
If the Wall is completed here, 25,000 Palestinians in eight villages will be trapped inside a ghetto with just one exit toward Ramallah, according to Nasif al-Deek of the National Committee Against the Wall. Hundreds of the 6,000 residents of Bil’in and Saffa will lose their land to Israel’s ongoing state-sponsored theft.
Yesterday was the third day of civil protests against this illegal policy. In the past three days, many Palestinians were injured when Israeli soldiers fired rubber bullets and tear gas at the peaceful protesters. Ten Palestinians were injured yesterday during a demonstration in Saffa.
Today (23 February) Palestinian civil activists plan to march from Al Manara Square in the center of Ramallah to the UN center in Ramallah. They will present the UN with a letter protesting its continuing failure to take any steps on the ground to uphold the ICJ resolutions and stop the building of the Wall on Palestinian land.
New Palestinian-only Road to Bypass East Jerusalem
In Jerusalem, the National Committee Against the Wall announced that the Israeli government is now trying to create a Palestinian-only road from the south of East Jerusalem to the north, which will isolate even more West Bank Palestinians from their land and from Jerusalem.
Currently, Palestinians can use Israeli bypass roads in East Jerusalem and surrounding areas, but once the new Palestinian-only road is built, Palestinians will be confined to it. The road will move from Eizarya in the south of the East Jerusalem area to Za’im, Anata, Hizma, Jaba, Al Ram, Qalandia, and finally Ramallah in the north, roughly following Israel’s proposed Wall and allowing no passage to Jerusalem itself, bypassing it altogether. The road will likely be under constant Israeli monitoring and will allow Israel to close this artery and split the West Bank in two whenever it chooses.
The road as Israel plans it will be surrounded by fences and walls on both sides and will isolate Palestinians from their land located on either side of the road. Israel will use this to confiscate thousands of dunams of Palestinian land and further isolate West Bank Palestinians from their cultural, spiritual, commercial, career, and family ties in East Jerusalem.
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