Sunday, July 10, 2005

Jerusalem Barrier

" Israel's Cabinet, ignoring Palestinian objections and U.S. misgivings, on Sunday endorsed a Jerusalem separation barrier meant to stop suicide bombers but that will cut off 55,000 Palestinian residents from the city.


Prime Minister Ariel Sharon last week ordered the acceleration of construction of the Jerusalem segment of the barrier and government ministries have until Sept. 1 to complete their preparations.

The wall around Jerusalem, originally approved in January 2004, is part of the partially completed barrier along the West Bank.

Israel began building a barrier along the West Bank at the height of a suicide bombing campaign by Palestinians more than two years ago. Attackers crossed the unmarked and largely unguarded cease-fire line between the Israel and the West Bank, captured by Israel in the 1967 war, and blew themselves up in Israeli cities, killing hundreds of people.

However, the route of the barrier dips into the West Bank in several places to encircle main settlements, and Palestinian denounce it as a land grab.

In its decision Sunday, the Cabinet said it sees "great importance in the immediate completion of the security fence in the Jerusalem area, in order to improve the level of personal security for the residents of Israel."

The barrier's route around Jerusalem is particularly contentious.

It reshapes the boundaries of the city — claimed by Israelis and Palestinians as a capital — and dramatically changes its demographics.

The barrier leaves four Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem, with some 55,000 residents, on the West Bank side, while including the largest Jewish West Bank settlement, Maaleh Adumim with close to 30,000 people, on the Jerusalem side.

The fate of Jerusalem was to have been determined in talks on a final peace deal. The Palestinians say the barrier pre-empts the outcome of negotiations, and separates east Jerusalem — the sector they claim for a capital — from its West Bank hinterland.

Israel has portrayed the barrier as a temporary security measure, to keep out Palestinian bombers and gunmen. The United States says Israel has the right to defend itself, but should minimize hardship to Palestinians in drawing the barrier route.

The Cabinet on Sunday approved a plan to build 11 passages through the Jerusalem barrier. The ministers did not explain how they would ensure quick passage of tens of thousands of Arab residents who need to get to schools, jobs and hospitals and the center of the city.

The government said it would build new schools and clinics in the Arab neighborhoods cut off by the barrier.

Vice Premier Ehud Olmert said Sunday that once the barrier around Jerusalem is completed, some 55,000 Palestinian residents of the city would find themselves on the wrong side of the barrier." -Yahoo news

8 Comments:

  • I'm curious concerning your views on the subject? Is Israel right or wrong in the this matter?

    By Blogger David Ketter, at 7:19 PM  

  • First of all, I don't know if it will ever actually be accomplished, or even how long it will last, but yes, I do think it is a good idea.... The Isrealites have to take some action against the terrorists......

    By Blogger MVB, at 11:44 PM  

  • Amen, MVB!

    Wow, I'm glad not everyone in the Reformed circle is part of the whole divestment idea. :) (I don't think everyone is, but a significant number of people in PCUSA are).

    By Blogger David Ketter, at 6:55 PM  

  • Hey! :outraged: I'm all for Israel too, and so are the vast majority of "Reformer"s I have spoken to about this. Thee are exceptions, I'm sure, but I've only ever met one. :)

    By Blogger Ashley, at 11:08 PM  

  • I meant "there", not "thee", I'm starting to sounds like a Quaker, lol.

    By Blogger Ashley, at 11:08 PM  

  • Lol,

    I wasn't meaning to generalize, that's just the mainstream in a lot of Presbyterian Churches...the more liberal ones, especially.

    Just do a google search on "Presbyterian Church" "Israel" "divestment" and you'll get somewhere on that.

    By Blogger David Ketter, at 7:45 PM  

  • I know you're right, it's just very depressing. And I don't know how rampant that view is among the more conservative Presbyterian churches...

    By Blogger Ashley, at 10:02 AM  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger Ashley, at 10:02 AM  

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