Jerusalem Segregation Wall HIts 1000s Palestinians
Thousands of Palestinians Hit by Jerusalem Segregation Wall
IOF Confiscate More West Bank Land, Annex Parts of 5 Towns
The Israeli government has issued land confiscation orders for a new segrgation wall, which confiscate and annex more Palestinian land to the unilaterally-declared capital of the Jewish state and will put some 50,000 Palestinians from the West Bank on the Israeli side of the barrier, thus leaving hundreds of thousands on both sides of the Wall cut off from relatives, schools and jobs on the other side.
Most of the confiscated land lay inside the West Bank, Ha’aretz reported Tuesday.
The route of the wall, which Israeli sources described as the “Jerusalem envelope,” would pass throuh several Palestinian towns and villages annexing parts of Bethlehem, Sur Baher, Abu Dis, Kufur Akeb and Al-Ram.
All theses comunities will be cut off from the other parts of the West Bank.
After the anouncement of the new wall plan, Mayor of Bethlehem Hanna Nasser confirmed that the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) issued orders to confiscate Palestinian land around the Bilal Rabah Mosque for “military purposes.”
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is facing increasing international pressure not to undermine future peace talks with the Palestinians by insisting on building the Apartheid Segregation wall.
Even Israel’s closest ally, Washington, has voiced concern that the Wall between Israel and the West Bank could complicate negotiations on the borders of a future Palestinian state, the goal of a US-sponsored peace “roadmap.”
The White House is reportedly piling pressure on Israel to revise the map of the next section of the wall, which is seen by Palestinians as an attempt to pre-determine the borders of their future state.
Similar position was highlighted following a recent visit of high-ranking Christian delegation to the occupied Palestinian territory.
“The WCC and our member churches are extremely concerned about the creation of the so-called security wall,” said the director of the World Council of Churches’ Commission of the Churches on International Affairs (WCC/CCIA) Peter Weiderud.
Speaking at a press briefing at the end of 12-14 August World Council of Churches' (WCC) staff visit to Jerusalem, Weiderud was referring to the separation wall presently under construction in the West Bank.
The wall is creating “a new political border” that violates international law, he pointed out.
“While the government of Israel is negotiating a 'land for peace' formula, the facts on the ground show a different picture.” The wall “will turn any Palestinian affected entities into Bantustans - to which Israel can shut its door any time. While barriers and walls are tumbling down or becoming obsolete all over the world, we are experiencing the opposite here.”
“With the security walls, total closures and checkpoints, Palestinian towns have become large prisons festering with frustration,” Weiderud stressed.
During their three-day visit, WCC staff met with the heads of churches and Christian communities of Jerusalem, President Yasser Arafat, and Ambassador Gadi Golan, head of the religious affairs bureau at the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
IOF Detain More Palestinians, Peace Activists
On the ground, IOF detained two international activists because they were trying to prevent Israeli bulldozers from demolishing a Palestinian house in the northern West Bank.
In the pre-dawn hours of Sunday morning, eight Israeli occupation army vehicles raided the Balata refugee camp outside the city of Nablus in an attempt to demolish a Palestinian house.
However, the two activists chained themselves to the upper floors of the house in an attempt to prevent its demolition.
IOF forced the activists out and detained them, sources close to the peace activists said.
Separately, IOF detained five Palestinians from occupied and annexed east Jerusalem on suspicion of trying to re-establish Palestinian security forces in the city, Israeli police said.
The men, who were arrested during an overnight raid in Silwan village southeast of the Old City, were thought to have spent the past few weeks undergoing military training in the West Bank city of Jericho, the Israeli police alleged.
Police suspect the men underwent training with the aim of reestablishing an arm of the Palestinian preventative security forces in Jerusalem, it added.
Elsewhere in the occupied territory, IOF invaded Lemrah neighborhood in the northern West Bank city of Jenin overnight, witnesses said.
IOF also detained two Palestinians in Hebron overnight. One of the detainees was wounded in the raid.
Palestinian security sources further confirmed that an IOF undercover unit kidnapped two Palestinians in the southern West Bank village of Rashida, west of Hebron.
Israel’s constant raids and detentions are undermining peace efforts and threatening to flare violence once again after a short period of calm following Palestinian factions announcement of a temporary cease fire on June 29th, Palestinians say.