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UN Criticises Israel's Construction Of Wall

UN Meeting Criticizes Impact Of Israel's Construction Of Wall In The West Bank

A United Nations meeting on the impact of Israel's construction of a barrier in and around the West Bank concluded today with delegates expressing their deep concern about its humanitarian, political and economic effect on the Palestinians.

In a document adopted at the end of the two-day meeting in Geneva, participants said the wall had dealt a devastating blow to an already fragile Palestinian economy. They said agricultural lands and water sources had been destroyed, confiscated or placed off-limits by the barrier's construction.

Many speakers said the wall was a de facto annexation of Palestinian land, and its erection breached the letter and the spirit of the Road Map - the Middle East peace plan outlined by the diplomatic Quartet of the European Union, the Russian Federation, the UN and the United States, which envisages two States - Israel and Palestine - living side by side in peace.

Nasser Al-Kidwa, Permanent Observer for Palestine to UN Headquarters in New York, said after the meeting that the wall made the two-State solution practically impossible.

Delegates also stressed that the UN had permanent responsibility to resolve all issues surrounding the question of Palestine, and called on the international community should take immediate steps to stop the wall's construction.

The UN International Meeting on the Impact of the Construction of the Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Including In and Around East Jerusalem was organized by the UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.

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