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West Bank developing into crazy quilt - Uri Avnery


The West Bank developing into crazy quilt - Uri Avnery

GUSH SHALOM - pob 3322, Tel-Aviv 61033 - www.gush-shalom.org/

[] The West Bank developing into crazy quilt - Uri Avnery

[] Some collected Wall news in Hebrew and English

A-Ram Supreme Court decision disappointing

A-Ram protest tent, from today (Monday 14)

A-Ram womens' protest Wed. 2:00pm

Ongoing protest Az-Zawiya

[] Latest emergency call from Iskaka: Building of Wall to start Wedn.

[] Preparations started for "fingernails" east of Ariel settlement

[] Links re news of ongoing events & campaigns

~~~

[] The West Bank developing into crazy quilt - Uri Avnery

Hebrew was already sent separately ðåñç áòáøéú ðùìç ëáø

Uri Avnery 12.6.04

The Nightmare Comes True

I thought it was terrible. I was wrong. It is far, far worse! - These words sum up my feelings at that moment.

I was standing on a hill overlooking the infamous Kalandia checkpoint.

Below me was a narrow road, packed with Palestinians in the blazing sun, 30 degrees centigrade in the shade (but there was no shade) trudging towards the checkpoint. Very soon this road will be transformed. It will be widened to three lanes and be reserved for Israelis: on both sides of it, 8-meter high walls will spring up. It will allow the settlers of the Jordan valley to reach Tel-Aviv in about an hour. The Palestinians living on either side will be cut off from each other.

This is a small part of the new reality that is rapidly being created on the West Bank and that is changing the country we knew and loved beyond recognition.

I was standing near the edge of a-Ram. Once this was a small village on the outskirts of Jerusalem, on the road north to Ramallah. Since successive Israeli governments have prevented the Palestinians in East Jerusalem from building new homes, the severe overcrowding has forced a mass exodus to a-Ram, which has grown into a town of 60 thousand inhabitants. Most of them are officially still Jerusalem residents, carrying the blue identity cards of inhabitants of Israel. This allows them to come to Jerusalem, a drive of 10 minutes, work there, tend to their businesses, go to the hospitals and the universities there.

This is about to stop. Along the age-old road from Jerusalem to Ramallah (leading on to Nablus, Damascus and beyond) construction of the 8-meter wall is due to start any minute now - not across the road, but along the middle of the road, the full length of it. The inhabitants of a- Ram, east of the wall, will not only be completely cut off from Jerusalem, but also from all the townships and villages to their west - their relatives, the schools which thousands of their children attend, their cemetery and their places of work. A small part of a-Ram remains outside the wall and will be cut off from the main part of the town in which they live.

But this is only part of the story. Because the wall (or in some places a barrier, consisting of a fence, trenches and roads) will completely surround a-Ram from all sides. The sole exit from this walled- in area will be a narrow bridge connecting it with the adjacent area to its east, consisting of several Palestinian villages, which will be surrounded by another barrier. This enclave will have a narrow exit to the Ramallah enclave. Through this it will be possible for a person from a-Ram to reach Ramallah, God willing, by a roundabout route of some 30 kilometers, instead of the ten minutes or so it took before the occupation.

A few kilometers to the west of a-Ram lies a group of villages centered around Bidou (where five Palestinians have been killed so far in protests against the wall). This area is rapidly becoming another enclave, completely surrounded by a separate barrier. The only way out will be a tunnel to be built under road No. 443 - the settlers' road of which the section I mentioned before will become part. All existing roads to Bidou have long since been cut off by trenches or piles of dirt, one can enter only at one spot controlled by a checkpoint. This will cease to exist.

If a villager from Bidou has some business in a-Ram, he will have to go through the tunnel to Ramallah, turn to the enclave east of a-Ram and enter a-Ram by the narrow bridge, a semicircle of about 40 kilometers instead of a drive of a few minutes.

A-Ram will be especially hard hit. Because of its location, it has developed in the last few years into a kind of transshipment point for goods travelling from Israel to the West Bank and vice versa. Israelis and Palestinians do business there. All this will end with the wall. The means of livelihood for many of its 60 thousand inhabitants will disappear.

This is only one example of what is happening now all over the West Bank, turning it into a crazy quilt of walled-in enclaves, "connected" by bridges, tunnels or special roads, which can be cut off at any moment at the whim of the Israeli government or of a local army officer - and, all around them, roads-for-Israelis-only, expanding settlements and military installations. Every Palestinian town - Jenin, Nablus, Tulkarm, Kalkilia, Bethlehem, Hebron and others - will become the "capital" of a tiny enclave, cut off from all the others, from their "hinterland" and villages, except by tortuous roundabout routes. Fifty-five percent of the West Bank will be Israeli, the Palestinian enclaves will amount to 45% (about 10% of historical Palestine).

This is no longer just a nightmarish future prospect - it is happening now, visible to the naked eye, while Sharon babbles about a "disengagement" to happen sometime in the future in one small part of the occupied territories.

Practically no Israeli has any idea about all this. It may be happening one kilometer from his home (in Jerusalem, for example), but it might as well be on far side of the moon. The media are not interested, nor is the world.

This is the peace Sharon has been dreaming about. This is the "Palestinian State" George Bush promised. This is a cornerstone of the new democratic Middle East.

It will lead, of course, to bloodshed on an unbelievable scale. No people on earth will submit to such a life. For thousands and thousands of young Palestinians, a martyr's death will be preferable. And sometime in the future this awful structure will be torn down, like the Berlin wall, which, evil as it was, was much less inhuman. As always, after much suffering, the human spirit will prevail.

[] Some collected Wall news in Hebrew and English A-Ram Supreme Court decision disappointing A-Ram protest tent, from today (Monday 14) A-Ram womens' protest Wed. 2:00pm Ongoing protest Az-Zawiya

[Thanks to Rabbis for collecting & translating!] ------- Forwarded message follows ------- From: "rabbis for human rights" Subject: Court rejects A-ram Appeal; People also needed in Az-zawia Date sent: Sun, 13 Jun 2004 18:10:53 +0200

English follows Hebrew à) áâ"õ ãçä àú äòúéøä ùì úåùáé à-øàí åàéôùø ìöáà ìäîùéê áòáåãåú äúùúéú òáåø äâãø. îåúø ìäí ìäùìéí àú äëì, ëåìì ñìéìú ëáéùéí åä÷îú îçñåîéí, çåõ îáðééú äçåîä òöîä (ùúé÷ç ìà éåúø îéåîééí ìáðåú àçøé ùäúùúéú âîåøä)

úåùáé à-øàí îúëððéí 1. ìä÷éí àåäì îçàä àçøé äöåäøééí åàðùéí îåæîðéí. 2. áéåí øáéòé îúåëððú äôâðú ðùéí ìùòä 14:00. äñòåú éåöàåú îéøåùìéí áùòä 13:15. ìôøèéí ðåñôéí, úàåí åäøùîä ìäñòåú àðà öøå ÷ùø òí "áú ùìåí" 5632622-02, 5631477-02 3. äåãòä òì ôòéìåéåú ðåñôåú úáåà áäîùê.

á) áàæåø ñìôéú - éù öåøê îúîéã áàðùéí ùéîçå áëì éåí òáåãä áà- æàååéä. ìôøèéí IWPS 09-2516644, 054-6236154

a) The Supreme Court rejected the appeal submitted by A'Ram residents and allowed the military to continue building the infrastructure for the wall. The military is allowed to complete everything, including ripping roads and creating barriers, except for raising the wall itself (which will take no more than a couple of days once the infrastructure is complete).

The residents of A'Ram are planning: 1. To erect a protest tent tomorrow afternoon to which people are invited.

2. A women's demonstration on Wed. at 14:00 Organized transportation will leave Jerusalem at 13:15, For further details and to coordinate and sign up for transportation, Please contact "bat shalom"- 02-5632622, 02-5631477

3. And as of tomorrow more events will be published.

b) There is an ongoing need of people every working day in Az-Zawiya. Buldozers are about to go out every day. Please check with: IWPS 09-2516644, 054-6236154

[] Latest emergency call from Iskaka: Building of Wall to start Wedn.

[Thanks to the untiring international women activists of IWPS] ------- Forwarded message follows ------- From: "IWPS" To: Date sent: Mon, 14 Jun 2004 15:06:55 +0200

URGENT CALL FOR ACTION IN ISKAKA

WHEN – 9 AM Wednesday 16TH June

Bulldozers will begin to work on the wall in Iskaka on Wednesday! The village has asked for internationals and Israeli’s to come to Iskaka on Wednesday at 9am.

Demonstrations in Az Zawiya are also continuing so please try and send people to both villages.

Contact number is 050 441991 or Jawal 059 671977

Call IWPS 09 2516644 or Carolyn 0546 236154

*Please call to confirm if you plan on coming.

Directions to Iskaka – from Jerusalem

Get a Taneeb bus or serveece to Zatara. When you get out of the bus at Zatara take the left fork of the road - direction Ariel. Take the first left off this road. It is the road to the settlement of Tapuach, the village of Yusuf and then Iskaka. This road also eventually reaches Salfeet. You can get a Palestinian serveece from the turnoff to Yusuf. There is a roadblock at Yusuf so you will need to get out and get another taxi from the other side of the roadblock.

>From Tel-Aviv

Get a settler bus to Ariel. Get out first stop in Ariel. Walk to the road and get Palestinian transport to Yusuf.

By car from Jerusalem or Tel Aviv

If you want to bring your car you will need to park it at the garage just outside Hares (ring IWPS for directions) and then catch Palestinian transport back to Yusuf and follow the direction from there.

[] Preparations started for "fingernails" east of Ariel settlement

Despite U.S. deal, Israel starts Ariel fence by Arnon Regular - Ha’aretz Monday, June 14

English http://www.haaretzdaily.com/hasen/spages/438675.html

Hebrew/òáøéú: http://www.haaretz.co.il/hasite/pages/ShArtPE.jhtml?itemNo=438884

Israel has started preparations for the construction of the separation fence east of the West Bank Jewish town of Ariel, and also the Kedumim and Immanuel settlements. Two weeks ago, Defense Ministry officials sent Palestinian residents of the Salfit town, south of Ariel, preliminary appropriation orders for land upon which the fence is to be built.

This land appropriation move is at variance with the U.S. government's understanding that such steps would not be taken in the foreseeable future, and that the separation fence project in these West Bank areas would be deferred.

Yet the move upholds a promise given by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to Finance Minister Benjamin Netanyahu which clinched the latter's support for the disengagement plan: Sharon indicated to Netanyahu that the separation fence in the Ariel area would be completed before the withdrawal from the Gaza Strip is finished.

Netzah Mashiah, who heads the Defense Ministry's seam area authority, told Haaretz on Sunday that plans call for the completion of the separation fence east of Ariel, Immanuel and Kedumim by May 2005.

About two weeks ago, civil administration officials in this West Bank region met with Palestinian Authority delegates and presented the land appropriation orders, along with a map of the precise area slated for the fence - the area is 3.5 kilometers long, and 100 meters wide, and runs between Ariel and Salfit.

Appropriation orders for the Immanuel and Kedumim areas will be released in coming weeks. After these orders are issued, construction of the separation fence in the heart of the West Bank will begin.

The lands to be appropriated in the Salfit area are the southern part of what Israeli security officials refer to as the "fingernails" zone - the term alludes to separation fence stretches that will ring large Jewish settlements on the West Bank. Fingernails planned for construction include the area around Kedumim in the north; around Immanuel and Karnei Shomron in the center of this West Bank region; and Ariel in the south. According to plans, the fingernails will in the future be expanded into what Israeli officials call "fingers" - meaning the separation fence will be continued up to the 1967 Green Line border. The current plan to build the separation fence from Ariel to Kedumim would eventually lead to the annexation of 150 kilometers of West Bank land to Israeli territory.

Mashiah explains: "The appropriation orders distributed in the Salfit area are for the southern part of the Ariel fingernail and legal work [for the security fence construction] in this area has been completed. All of the fingernails in this West Bank area - in Kedumim, Immanuel and Ariel - will be completed, according to the plans, by May 2005. Construction of what is called the fingers [i.e. the expansion of the fence up to the Green Line] is supposed to start in early 2005, but no fixed timetable for the completion of this stage of the work has been determined."

American officials originally demanded that Israel abandon plans to build the separation fence in these areas of the West Bank.

Subsequently an agreement was reached with officials in Washington under which the fingernails are to be completed in 2004 east of Ariel, Kedumim and Immanuel, and then a year later these fence stretches are to be connected to the Green Line.

Recently, Defense Ministry officials have tried to coordinate construction of the fingernails with settlers from the area, security officials have told Haaretz. However, in the Kedumim area, Jewish residents have voiced opposition to the plan to build the separation fence around their settlement. Also, legal obstacles impeded the construction of the fence in the Immanuel area, say the security officials.

Due to this combination of legal impediments and settler resistance in cases of two of the planned fingernails, the defense establishment decided two weeks ago to focus efforts in the southern stretch of the fence, around Ariel, these officials explain.

Caught in enclaves

Dozens of Palestinian villages will be affected by the construction of the separation fence in these stretches of the West Bank. Residents of some of these villages will be caught in enclaves.

Under appropriation orders issued two weeks ago by civil administration officials to land owners in Salfit, the property is to be taken by the end of 2007.

Nawaf Suf, a PA liaison official from the Salfit area said Sunday: "We all know that expropriated land will never be returned to its owners, even if not even a centimeter of the separation fence is ever built ... The fence will promote development of the settlements, whereas it will cut off and destroy life in local Palestinian villages, whose residents will become hostages."

[] Links re news of ongoing events & campaigns

# The "Breaking the Silence" soldiers' exhibition continues in Tel Aviv (until June 25th) link for details [in Hebrew only] : http://www.shovrimshtika.org/hebrew/

# Arna's Children June schedule at: http://www.arna.info/Arna/movie.php?lang=heb

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