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Israel town to build its cemetery in West Bank, have armed guards at funerals

Palestinian women visit loved ones in a cemetery in the West Bank City of Nablus on 15 October 2013 [Nedal Eshtayah/Apaimages]
Palestinian women visit loved ones in a cemetery in the West Bank City of Nablus on 15 October 2013 [Nedal Eshtayah/Apaimages]

An Israeli town is set to build its cemetery inside the occupied West Bank, necessitating the presence of armed guards at every funeral to be held here, reported Haaretz.

According to the paper, the cemetery is expected to also serve settlements in the so-called Binyamin Regional Council, not just residents of Mevasseret Zion.

Two weeks ago, Mevasseret council head Yoram Shimon announced his plan to build a cemetery in an area between the Green Line, and the Separation Wall inside the occupied West Bank. After meetings with settler officials and the army, the local council approved the plan last week.

However, a document obtained by Haaretz "indicates that building a cemetery in the designated area would turn every funeral into a security event".

A summary of a meeting between Shimon and the head of an occupation army body that manages the Wall in that area, shows that the army explained "the significance of the building ban and the security importance of restricting building on both sides of the security fence".

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The document continued: "It is possible to examine the request positively in the future", but subject to several conditions imposed by the army.

"First of all, the area must be properly zoned. In addition, the army insists that the cemetery be surrounded by a metal fence three meters high." The local council also must "Install security cameras with both night and day surveillance capability," and, "The council must commit to stationing armed civilian security guards at every funeral from beginning to end as a condition for holding it."

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