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Jerusalem - Israel Opens Segregated West Bank Highway Near Jerusalem

Published on: January 10, 2019 12:07 PM
By: AP
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A newly opened segregated West Bank highway is seen near Jerusalem Thursday, Jen. 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)A newly opened segregated West Bank highway is seen near Jerusalem Thursday, Jen. 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)

Jerusalem - Israel inaugurated a new highway in the West Bank on Thursday that features a large concrete wall segregating Israeli and Palestinian traffic.

One side of Route 4370 — located northeast of Jerusalem — will be open to Israeli vehicles only, while the other half will only be open to Palestinian traffic. Critics have branded it an “apartheid” highway, saying it is part of a segregated road system that benefits Jewish settlers.

The highway was built as part of a planned ring road east of Jerusalem that would connect the northern and southern West Bank. Construction began in 2005, but the 5-kilometer (3-mile) road lay unfinished for years until 2017.

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Israeli officials inaugurating the new road on Wednesday touted it as a means of better connecting West Bank settlements north of Jerusalem to the city.

Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan called the highway “an example of the ability to create coexistence between Israelis and Palestinian while guarding (against) the existing security challenges.”

The Palestinian Authority said in a statement that the “apartheid” road “poses a challenge to the credibility of the international community.”

“It’s a shame on the international community to see an apartheid regime being established and deepened without doing anything to stop it.”

 A view of cars driving on the Israeli side (R) and Palestinians side (L) of the road that separates between Israelis and Palestinians near the Issawiya neighborhood and Shuafat refugee camp in East Jerusalem, 10 January 2019. EPA A view of cars driving on the Israeli side (R) and Palestinians side (L) of the road that separates between Israelis and Palestinians near the Issawiya neighborhood and Shuafat refugee camp in East Jerusalem, 10 January 2019. EPA

Israel captured east Jerusalem and the West Bank in the 1967 war, territories the Palestinians want to be part of their future state. The Palestinians and most of the international community consider Israeli settlements to be illegal and an obstacle to peace.

The eastern ring road was conceived as a means of connecting the northern and southern West Bank. Critics of the settlements fear that if the road is completed, Israel will then proceed with settlement construction in an area east of Jerusalem known as E1.

The Palestinians have long feared that construction in E1 would split the West Bank in half, making a future state inviable. With the road completed, Israel could argue that the territory was still contiguous.

Development in E1 has been largely frozen under U.S. pressure, even as Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank has boomed under the Trump administration.

Betty Herschman, a spokeswoman for the Ir Amim activist organization, said that “we can only speculate” concerning the timing of the highway’s opening after years of dormancy, “but what we do know is that because of the relationship to E1, we should all be on high alert as to what this indicates.”

A checkpoint is seen at the newly opened segregated West Bank highway near Jerusalem Thursday, Jen. 10, 2019. Israel has opened a controversial new West Bank highway on Thursday that features a large concrete wall segregating Israeli and Palestinian traffic. Critics have branded the road an "apartheid" highway, saying it is part of a planned segregated road system that would benefit Israelis exclusively. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)A checkpoint is seen at the newly opened segregated West Bank highway near Jerusalem Thursday, Jen. 10, 2019. Israel has opened a controversial new West Bank highway on Thursday that features a large concrete wall segregating Israeli and Palestinian traffic. Critics have branded the road an "apartheid" highway, saying it is part of a planned segregated road system that would benefit Israelis exclusively. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)

In a separate development earlier Thursday, an Israeli court sentenced a Palestinian man to 18 years in prison for stabbing a British student to death in Jerusalem.

The Jerusalem district court accepted a plea bargain in sentencing 60-year-old Jamil Tamimi. He killed 20-year-old British student Hannah Bladon on the Jerusalem light rail in April 2017, stabbing her multiple times before an off-duty policeman pulled the emergency brake and subdued him.

Tamimi’s defense team claimed he suffered from mental illness, and the attack was not ideologically or politically motivated.

Bladon was an exchange student at Hebrew University from the University of Birmingham.

Maurice Hirsch, her family’s representative, said he was disappointed her killer would not be serving a life sentence for his crime. But he added “no sentence would have been able to return Hannah.”



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Read Comments (7)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Jan 10, 2019 at 12:20 PM Torah jew Says:

What a chilul Hashem but who’s surprised?!

2

 Jan 10, 2019 at 01:31 PM Educated Archy Says:

that features a large concrete wall

Walls work

3

 Jan 10, 2019 at 01:55 PM elyeh Says:

The article is misleading because these are two roads going to two different places!!

One goes to Yerushalayim and one goes south of Yerushalayim. What the article leaves out is that one road is open to Israeli vehicles AND to Palestinians who have entry permits for Jerusalem. The other two lanes branch off and lead around and south, without access to Jerusalem itself, and are for vehicles of Palestinians who do not have access permits for Jerusalem.

4

 Jan 10, 2019 at 02:51 PM Very frum Says:

I can just see this coming to the streets of Lakewood and KJ soon!

5

 Jan 10, 2019 at 03:38 PM SandraM Says:

Really, VIN? Segregated Highway!
Controversial?
Can you report the real story instead of regurgitating the lies from the anti-Israel crowd?
Thanks

6

 Jan 10, 2019 at 05:46 PM leftists are scum Says:

more fake news by the anti Israel leftist media that hashomer and his buddies love

7

 Jan 10, 2019 at 07:54 PM QUAZKY Says:

Tell Cryin Chucky Shutdown Schumer that walls works

8

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