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End Israel's Occupation: 40 years too many

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MAP 5: 2002-2007 WALL = LAND THEFT

In response to the escalating violence of the second intifada, Israel began building a separation wall on July 2002. Already in the early stages of construction, the wall caused immense damage: 210,000 Palestinians were corralled in enclaves, 67 villages were separated from their means of livelihood, 2,800 acres of land was confiscated, 83,000 olive trees were uprooted, 30 water wells were confiscated and 35,000 metres of water infrastructure destroyed. While the wall was ostensibly built to prevent suicide attacks it became increasingly obvious that its real purpose was to unilaterally redraw the borders as it pushed deep into the occupied West Bank annexing more land already staked out by the illegal settlements.

One of the major elements of this land theft is the Eastern Jordan Valley corridor, which has been declared a closed military zone but where 31 illegal settlements cultivate Palestinian land. An eastern wall has been suggested here so that all Palestinian contact with the outside world can be controlled by Israel. Not only will Israel control all exit/entry points, but aerial and electromagnetic space as well. This will effectively create an open-air prison. These same impossible restrictions were put into place in Gaza after Israel’s disengagement: Israel controls air, sea and land space even preventing fisherman from going further than 10km out to sea which greatly affects their means of livelihood. If the Eastern phase is completed, the wall will be 700 km long – more than double the length of the internationally recognized border. Some 500,000 Palestinians will be trapped between the wall and the Green line (1967 borders/1949 Armistice line) and approximately 55% of the West bank will be de facto annexed to Israel.

Having annexed East Jerusalem already in 1967, Israel has been systematically attempting to de-Arabize it. Israel has established 12 “neighbourhoods” which are in fact illegal settlements surrounding East Jerusalem accommodating 250,000 settlers to entrench the Judaization of the area it regards as its eternal an undivided capital. The wall will isolate the Palestinian Jerusalemites from the rest of the West Bank and severely control any movement of people or goods. This totally ignores the fact that East Jerusalem is the cultural heart for the Palestinians and has been intended as the capital of their state. It is also in direct defiance of international law. In 2004, the international court of justice (ICJ) ruled the wall illegal and that it should be dismantled and compensation payments made to the Palestinians affected. As the ICJ decision is nonbinding, the US has failed to pressure Israel to abide by the decision and has further used its veto power when a binding UN Security Council resolution was called for.







© 2007 Women For Palestine