Sunday, November 29, 2020

Israel opens ‘apartheid road’

By Ary Gotlib - January 24, 2019
Section: [Main News]
Tags: [E1] [Jerusalem] [Apartheid]

A new Jerusalem highway road has opened in the occupied West Bank, drawing labels of it as an apartheid road.

Route 4370, a 2-mile stretch, divides Palestinian cars on the west side from Jewish settlers cars on the east Side by an eight-meter high wall in the middle topped with fencing, according to Israeli newspaper Haaretz .
This road has been greeted by Israelis, who also see it as a “gift” for Palestinians.
Though it is hard to swallow for Palestinians, who calls it an "Apartheid Road," reported Al-Jazeera.

Source: Haaretz.
The West Bank has many segregated roads, but it’s the first time that one of them is divided along its entire length by a wall.
“It is a grotesque symbol of Israel’s policy of segregation in the West Bank,” according to a Haaretz editorial.
“The construction of the new road was intended to shorten and optimise travel times for Palestinian residents of Judea and Samaria [biblical name for the West Bank]," the Israeli Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) spokesperson said in a Facebook video.
Road 4370 is the first operational section of an eastern ring road around Jerusalem.
On the western side of the road, Palestinians cannot enter Jerusalem (only with an Israeli military-issued permit), whereas the road’s eastern side is linking settlements north of Jerusalem to the capital.
The road is part of a bigger Israeli project to link the eastern outskirts of Jerusalem, a controversial area known as E-1 or Greater Jerusalem.
Around 140,000 Palestinians living in East Jerusalem towns and villages would be displaced due to the annexation of E-1, desired and put in place by Israeli authorities.
A decade ago, the late Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon had already conceived this highway, but international pressure delayed construction for years, reminded the New York Post.
“Access to the capital has been revolutionized,” Yisrael Gantz, head of the Binyamin Regional Council, said during the opening ceremony of the road.
Gantz called the road no less than an oxygen line for the region’s residents, who work, study and go out for entertainment in the city.
Transportation Minister, Yisrael Katzthe believes this road is “an example of the ability to create a common life between Israelis and Palestinians while addressing security concerns,” related Haaretz.
Al Jazeera reported that Palestinians from the village of Anata said part of the highway is built on their private land.
For Ahmed Rifea, an Anata resident, "anyone can see the Israelis' plan, they want to take that land.”
Israeli activist group Ir Amim agreed andsaid the highway "eliminates one of the obstacles to settlement construction in E-1 and should signal cause for heightened vigilance."
“The new road won’t whitewash the settlements and it won’t make the Palestinians disappear, it will only add another stain to Israel’s reputation,” concluded the editorial of Haaretz.
Lead image source: Maan News.

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