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Sunday, January 11, 2004

ABU ALA: "The wall destroys everything"

"It is not only an obstacle to peace, the wall destroys peace"
QALQILYA, West Bank (Reuters) - Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qurie, with his back to a wall Israel has built inside the West Bank, said Sunday the barrier was destroying peace efforts and called for U.S. intervention.

AFP - Jan 11 8:40 AM - Jamal Aruri

Israel says the barrier, a mix of fences and walls that encroach on West Bank land by varying amounts along the 150 km (90 miles) built so far, is meant to keep out suicide bombers.

Palestinians call it an effort to annex or fragment occupied land, and Qurie visited a section that all but encircles the Palestinian town of Qalqilya to dramatize their case against it.

"From the edge of this racist separation wall, I appeal to the United States, to President Bush, Europe and the United Nations to (understand) that this leaves no chance for the establishment of a Palestinian state," he said in the shadow of the 10-meter-(33-foot)-high barrier.

"I am not saying this emotionally. I am trying to attract attention to what they (Israel) are trying to do through this wall. They are drawing a picture of an imposed solution on the ground," said Qurie, who took office in November.

The barrier's serpentine course has separated Palestinian farmers from their fields and crippled trade between villages and market towns like Qalqilya, where 40,000 people are ringed by concrete except for one gap with an Israeli army checkpoint.

"We want the United States...to tell Israel to stop building the wall that is destroying everything. It is not only an obstacle to peace, the wall destroys peace," he said.

Israel is threatening a unilateral "separation" along the line of the barrier, absorbing major Jewish settlements in the West Bank, to replace a U.S.-backed "road map" peace plan that is now in tatters. Palestinians fear the barrier would splinter the state they seek. . .

[Abu Ala] repeated that Palestinians might demand a "bi-national" state . . where Arabs could be in the majority . . .
NOTE: The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs provides this website with comprehensive information on the Israeli point of view, answers to Palestinian claims, background material and analyses. I don't understand how anyone can argue with the fact that the barrier is NON-LETHAL and REVERSIBLE, and it SAVES LIVES.

We could have been done with this fifty years ago, if only the Arabs were willing to come to the table, negotiate borders, and then keep their word. I know, it's asking too much of them. So, since we have no one with whom to negotiate a peace, they should get on the other side of the fence and stay there. They can kill one another if they must, but they will have to leave Israelis alone. Now that would be peace . . . of sorts.