Israel to resume work on barrier

2012-07-05 12:00

Jerusalem - Israel will resume construction of its controversial West Bank barrier within the next few weeks after a five-year delay, public radio reported on Thursday, citing an army officer.

Israeli radio reported that Colonel Ofer Hindi, the officer responsible for the barrier, delivered details of the plans to resume construction work in a session before the Supreme Court on Wednesday.

Hindi told the court that work will initially resume around the group of settlements near Bethlehem known as Gush Etzion.

The following year, work will resume around Maale Adumim, a settlement east of Jerusalem that is one of the biggest in the West Bank.

Construction work on the barrier has been on hold for around five years because of "budget problems" and multiple legal appeals filed by Palestinians, public radio said.

Israeli newspaper Yediot Aharonot said international pressure over the route of the barrier, which cuts into the West Bank, had also contributed to its suspension and that renewed criticism was expected once work resumed.

Land grab claims

The Israeli military referred queries to the defence ministry, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Israel began work on the barrier in 2002 during the height of the second intifada, and has defended the necessity of its construction, pointing to a drop in attacks as proof of its success.

The Palestinians says the barrier is a land grab, pointing out that when complete, 85% of it will have been built inside the West Bank.

In 2004, the International Court of Justice issued a non-binding resolution calling for those parts of the barrier inside the West Bank to be torn down and for further construction in the territory to cease.

Israel has not complied with the ICJ ruling.

  • cameronrh1 - 2012-07-05 12:21

    Jordan’s assumed sovereignty over most of Judea and Samaria after the 1948 War for Independence was not legally recognized by the international community, meaning that Israel did not “occupy” the same land during the Six-Day War in 1967. Virtually all of the international community including the United States, has continually labelled Israel as an “occupier” based on the notion that it took over Jordanian land in the war. In fact, the land was administered by Britain under a League of Nations Mandate after World War I and was to be divided between Israel and a new country of Trans-Jordan after the declaration of Israel as an independent country. Arab nations, including Jordan, did not accept the partition plan and unsuccessfully tried to annihilate the young state of Israel. Jordan then occupied most of Judea and Samaria after the war. So whose occupying who?

      jaba.kov - 2012-07-06 11:08

      As we all know walls/barriers like this, built on security, will come down. It is only a matter of when the Palestinians realise that peace and not violence will lead to their salvation & statehood. Im sadden that the Palestinians never had a Madiba figure like we did - all they are stuck with is Islamic fanatics who sadly love death more than life...

      anwar.daniels - 2012-07-08 10:43

      @jaba.kov, by saying that a Madiba figure will make a difference, you then saying that the Palestinians were like the oppressed majority here and Israel like the Apartheid govt

      jaba.kov - 2012-07-08 13:12

      no anwar - there is a difference between two nations at war (Israel/Palestine) and South Africa’s' fight to end apartheid. however in all conflicts only good leadership can lead to a peaceful conclusion to the violence - the Palestinians have never had any good leaders, from a egoistical nut-job like the Egyptian born Yasser Arafat - to fundamentalists like Hamas... If and when the Palestinians get a peaceful leadership - there will be peace the next day between the two nations. If Israel lays down its arms there will be no more Israel- If the Palestinians lay down their arms there will be peace. Islamic fundamentalists don’t recognise Israel's right to exist thus the fighting continues.

  • fidel.mgoqi - 2012-07-05 13:54

    Syria has provided the muffling of the cement mixers preparing for Palestinian land invasion.

      henry.bosman.5 - 2012-07-06 09:52

      Why don't Egypt ask Israel for Gaza back and Jordan ask for the west bank back? Because nobody wants these dregs. Israel need that wall to keep the criminals out as we use walls in SA to keep the criminals out.

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-07-06 11:21

      That they do not want to lose the right to pursue legal recourse for what is defined as rightfully theirs by law. And most of all, they want to be citizens of their own country called Palestine. Just like Jews express their desire to be citizens of a country called Israel. How hard is that to comprehend?

      larry.lachman.54 - 2012-07-09 07:22

      They are welcome to choose peace Fidel. Peace is one of the conditions Israel insists on for Israel to withdraw from Palestinian West Bank, and to free Gaza from its siege. So, 'occupation' and embargo will continue, and rightly so.

  • james.peterson.14289210 - 2012-07-07 11:41

    Israel Needs to Defend itself!!!! SIMPLE, keyword here being DEFEND!! Israel as much as the arabs would like you to believe is not the agressor. ISRAEL has NEVER broken any peace treaty made, in fact ISRAEL has and always will make scrifices for peace. If south africa did as much as Israel does to defend and rotect it's citizens, then South africa would have no rape, no murder and houses and sanitation for all its people. Learn the facts people.

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