Israel’s so-called “Separation Wall” is nearly all built on Palestinian land occupied by the Zionists state since 1967, according to a report produced by the Arab League. The more commonly-called Apartheid Wall is also “an overt violation of the Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice”, as well as international law which prohibits occupation forces from controlling occupied land by force.
The report demonstrates that the Wall “slices through the [occupied] West Bank, turning it into enclaves and cantons”; the length of this illegal structure will be 810 km (more than twice the length of the armistice Green Line) by the time it is finished. The authors of the report call the Israeli excuses for building the Wall “flimsy arguments”. Even the supposed “security” pretext doesn’t stand up to close scrutiny, they argue.
“The building of this barrier fits in with Israel’s ongoing impediment of Palestinians’ movement, using 565 military checkpoints, including 65 which are manned by soldiers permanently and 22 which are not manned on a full-time basis; add to this the 80 gates in the Wall itself and 418 roadblocks, barricades and tunnels, etc., and the situation becomes clear.” The Wall, it is claimed, is not about Israeli security, but control of Palestinian lives.
Israel deploys 300+ portable barricades on a monthly basis to control civilians’ movement between towns and cities across the occupied West Bank. The route of the Wall means that people are cut off from their schools, workplaces, hospitals and even water supplies.
The report continues: “Israel controls all types of movement for Palestinians in the Jordan Valley’s Al-Aghwar district through four roadblocks – Matasir, Al-Hamra, Afrim and Bitaf – which have a permanent and heavy presence of Israeli soldiers. Local residents aside, the people of the West Bank are not allowed to pass through these checkpoints unless they have special permits.”
The Arab League claims that the Israeli Occupation Authorities plan to build an apartheid wall on the eastern border of the West Bank, as the first step toward implementing the Allon Plan that was proposed in 1967. The intention is to isolate Al-Aghwar and control the land near the River Jordan and the Dead Sea, cutting off completely the Jordan Valley and Jericho from the rest of Palestine.
The restrictions placed on Palestinians in their own country include the prohibition of travelling to or through areas designated unilaterally by Israel as “military areas”, “training areas”, shooting ranges” and “nature reserves”; around 26% of the West Bank has been isolated in this way.
Qalqilyah, a town to the north west of Jerusalem close to the old Green Line, has seen at least 3,500 dunums of land damaged by the Israeli closure of gate number 1037 in the Apartheid Wall. The town is completely surrounded by the hated Wall, to a length of 13.6 km, imprisoning its 47,700 residents and cutting it off from four local villages and three Bedouin areas. Most of the 22 gates in the Wall at this point are closed for most of the time. An additional fence construction by Israel will soon annex a large part of Qalqilyah’s fertile agricultural land.
Israel continues to confiscate Palestinian land across the West Bank under the guise of “security concerns” in areas adjacent to the Wall including, for example, Beit Gala near Bethlehem and Beit Oula near Hebron. More than 10,000 dunums of land have been thus confiscated in those two districts alone. Meanwhile, Israel fires tear gas and bullets at peaceful demonstrators protesting against the Wall and the shattering effect it has on Palestinian lives, land and the economy.
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