PA slams Israeli "apartheid road" in West Bank

13 January, 2019, 15:40 | Author: Sheila Harris
  • Cars drive along Route 4370 near Jerusalem

According to Palestinian figures, 640,000 Jewish settlers now live on 196 settlements (built with the Israeli government's permission) and more than 200 settler "outposts" (built without its permission) across the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Many segregated roads are in the West Bank, but none divided along its entire length by a wall.

Ir Amim says the opening of the road should be cause for "heightened vigilance", and that while routing Palestinian traffic away from Jerusalem and E-1, the new road also "affords two key benefits for Israelis: 1) expediting traffic flow to Jerusalem for settlers from the Ramallah area and 2) enabling expansion of the settlement bloc around Ramallah".

Palestinian officials and activists on the other hand have condemned the road as an example of Israeli apartheid and racism against Palestinians.

Mohammed Abu Zaid, administrative director of the local council for Al-Zaim, a Palestinian village on the other side of the wall, fears that the journey from his village to the city will be lengthened by some eight kilometres (five miles) if the project is completed.

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Its western side serves Palestinians, who cannot enter Jerusalem, whereas the road's eastern side serves Israeli settlers, who can now reach the Jerusalem neighborhoods of the French Hill and Jabal al-Mukabir more easily.

The Palestinian Authority said in a statement that the road posed a challenge to "the credibility of the worldwide community".

In 2002, Israel began building a security barrier separating Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank in an bid to bolster security following the Second Intifada; Palestinians dubbed the undertaking the "apartheid road" and have repeatedly called for it to be taken down.

A two-lane road built on a stolen land opens in occupied Jerusalem.

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