Israel begins removing part of West Bank barrier

Discussion in 'Israel and Palestine' started by P F Tinmore, Jun 26, 2011.

  1. P F Tinmore
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    P F Tinmore Platinum Member

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    NAALIN CROSSING, West Bank – Israel on Sunday began tearing down a section of its contentious West Bank separation barrier near a village that has come to symbolize Palestinian opposition to the enclosure, the military said.

    The rerouting marked a major victory for the residents of Bilin and the international groups that have backed their struggle. But they said it fell short of their demands to remove the structure from the village altogether and vowed to continue with their weekly protests.

    Bilin lost half its land to the barrier, and years of weekly protests there have frequently evolved into clashes between activists and Israeli troops.

    Israel began building the barrier in late 2002 to keep out Palestinian attackers amid a wave of suicide bombers targeting its cities. It says the structure is needed to keep militants from reaching Israeli population centers.

    But the barrier juts into the West Bank, and critics say the route is designed to grab land that Palestinians want for a state. The barrier, when completed, is projected to swallow some 6 to 8 percent of the West Bank.

    Tsur said the new route will put some 140 acres (55 hectares) back in Palestinian hands. He said the total cost of the project is $9 million.

    The Bilin protests, attended by villagers as well as Israeli and international activists, usually involve a mix of marching, chanting and throwing rocks at Israeli troops. Two Palestinians, and five in the nearby village of Naalin, have died and hundreds others have been wounded since the protests began in 2005.

    One Bilin demonstrator was hit in the chest with a tear gas canister and another woman died after she inhaled tear gas. Palestinians said she had a pre-existing medical condition that was exacerbated by the acrid fumes.

    In March 2009, 38-year-old Tristan Anderson of Oakland, Calif., was badly wounded after he was hit in the head with a tear gas canister during a West Bank protest. Anderson lost his right eye and suffered brain damage.

    Dozens of Israeli troops and police also have been injured, including one who lost an eye.

    Indeed, Bilin activists said the move would not influence their opposition.

    "We are going to continue until we get all our rights. This barrier isn't for security. It's to steal land and build settlements," said Rani Burnat, a 30-year-old resident paralyzed in a separate demonstration 10 years ago.

    Israel begins removing part of West Bank barrier - Yahoo! News
     
  2. docmauser1
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    docmauser1 Gold Member

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    Don't we love pro-palistans showing jews are better?
     

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