Sunday, 20 January, 2019

Foreign Ministry denounces Israel's opening of 'Apartheid Road' in Jerusalem

Israel opens segregated highway dubbed 'Apartheid Road' Israel opens 'Apartheid Road' dividing Palestinians, settlers in occupied West Bank
Kenny Thornton | 13 January, 2019, 15:44

Israel occupied the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War.

Israeli authorities have said the road is meant to ease traffic congestion at the Hizma checkpoint north of Jerusalem, and have even claimed the road offers "a solution for all populations, Israeli and Palestinian".

Palestinians and Israelis often share roads in the West Bank, although some are reserved exclusively for Israelis.

Israel's Public Security Minister called he road "an example of the ability to create a shared life between Israelis and Palestinians, while dealing with the existing security challenges".

The Times of Israel quoted PA Transportation Ministry Spokesman Mohammad Hamdan as saying that "all roads in the State of Palestine should be accessible to Palestinians".

Still, he sees an advantage with the new road.

According to Haaretz, the road was built over a decade ago.

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The U.S. joined the deal last month despite President Donald Trump's 2017 pledge to withdraw the country from the Paris accord. Scientists say the warming seas are damaging coral reefs and marine life, and forcing fish to find deeper and colder waters.

The road, which lies outside Jerusalem's jurisdiction, will be open from 5 a.m.to noon daily and used mostly be used by settlers commuting to the city for work and study.

Some 450,000 settlers live in the West Bank alongside more than 2.5 million Palestinians.

Mohammed Abu Zaid, administrative director of the local council for Al-Zaim, a Palestinian village on the other side of the wall, fears that the journey from his village to the city will be lengthened by some eight kilometres (five miles) if the project is completed.

Israeli authorities have unveiled a highway in Jerusalem which puts Palestinian drivers on one side and Jewish settlers on the other, separating them with a "high fence", according to the Haaretz newspaper.

Ir Amim, an Israeli NGO opposing Israel's settlement expansion activities, warned that the road facilitates settlers' commute at the expense of Palestinian communities.

In addition to the soldiers, the IDF said an Israeli civilian also fired at the assailant.

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