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Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Israel may paint The Wall to please the Hague

Less than 10% is (paintable) concrete

Maariv: Israel's Foreign Ministry public relations wizards have come up with an idea to tone down the damage to Israel's public image from the separation fence: paint it in gay colors.

The “colorful” idea was formulated while the members of the PR delegation, who are scheduled to face the media at The Hague International Court of Justice while it considers the barrier, toured the fence’s path and pondered how to make it more visually appealing.

Only ten of the total 200 km (125 miles) of the fence already built consist of actual, easily paintable concrete walls. Eight kilometers were built in the area of the Palestinian city of Qalqilya, the Arab-Israeli town - Baka El-Garbia - and the Israeli village of Matan. Two more kilometers of wall were put up near the village of Abu-Dis in East Jerusalem. According to the final plan for the barrier, concrete walls will be erected along 21 km.

A Foreign Ministry official said Sunday that the “Palestinians use the fence for propaganda...

... depicting it as a concrete wall while concrete makes up less than ten percent of it”.

According to the official, “A colorfully painted barrier would be more aesthetic, resulting in less damage to Israel’s public image”.

Meanwhile, the municipality of The Hague approved a request by ZAKA, the ultra-orthodox rescue and casualty identification volunteer group, to place an exploded Israeli bus on its city streets. ZAKA decided to submit their request toward the upcoming deliberation at The Hague Court.

The number 19 Jerusalem bus that was blown up on January 29th has been selected for the purpose. A Palestinian suicide bomber killed 11 people aboard that bus during morning rush hour. Because of the tight timetable, the hulk of the bus will be cut in two and sent by air.