oPt + 1 more

OPT: New apartheid wall route will isolate at least 55,000 Palestinians

The Israeli cabinet has just approved the final route of the Apartheid Wall in the Jerusalem district despite the overwhelming rejection of it by Palestinians and the international community. The Israeli cabinet named September 1 as the deadline for completing the Wall in Jerusalem. The decision was made on the one-year anniversary of the International Court of Justice ruling that the Wall is contrary to international law and must be dismantled and all victims compensated immediately. Israel, with the backing of America, continues to ignore this ruling.
The final route of the Wall will isolate Kufr Aqab, Anata, and the Shuafat Refugee Camp from East Jerusalem. Palestinians believe that 100,000 Palestinians will be isolated by this route. Israel claims that "only" 55,000 will be isolated, including 3,600 students. Ehud Olmert, Israeli Minister of Trade and Finance, claims that this is an acceptable segment of the city to be cut off from their basic services.

Israeli spokespeople have said that some new public service centers, such as hospitals, post offices, and school rooms, will be built on the Palestinian side of the Wall to substitute for the ones sliced away by the Wall. They claim that Israel will continue to supply Jerusalem residents with social and economic services, including insurance.

But Palestinian spokespeople say this is just a cover story. Ziyad Hammouri, director of the Jerusalem Center for Social and Economic Rights, has reported that Israel has already begun confiscating blue Jerusalem ID cards from Palestinian residents. Without the ID, their rights to enter Jerusalem and to receive other services like insurance will be taken away. Hammouri believes that after Israel isolates these areas, all Israelis services to isolated Jerusalem residents will cease.

Israel also seems primed to isolate other Palestinian communities near Jerusalem that are not isolated by the Wall. For example, in Al Asawiyya, an East Jerusalem village to the West of the Wall, Israel has plans to link it with Anata, which is on the East side of the Wall, and close all the roads that link it with Jerusalem.