Published: Sun, January 13, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Israel opens 'Apartheid Road' separating Palestinians, Jewish settlers

Israel opens 'Apartheid Road' separating Palestinians, Jewish settlers

Between 500,000 and 600,000 Israelis live in Jewish-only settlements across occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank in violation of worldwide law, with recent announcements of settlement expansion provoking condemnation from the global community.

Segregated roads are common in the West bank, but until now, none are divided along their entire length by a wall.

Its western side served Palestinian drivers, who can not enter the holy city, while the eastern side will be used by Israeli settlers who will be able to reach French Hill and Mount Scopus more easily, according to the paper.

Israeli public security minister Gilad Erdan, who attended the road's inauguration on Wednesday (Jan 10), called it "an example of the ability to create shared life between Israelis and Palestinians, while meeting the existing security challenges".

The road's opening prompted condemnation from the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry, in turn, lashed out at Israel's decision to open the highway, which the ministry claimed "comes within the framework of Israel's ongoing efforts to undermine any chance of reaching a political solution".

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According to Haaretz, the road was built over a decade ago.

Palestinians have long feared that the road and other similar construction projects in the area would eventually split the West Bank in half, further hindering Palestinian plans for a future state.

About 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 settlements built illegally since the 1967 occupation of the Palestinian territories.

Instead, Palestinian drivers will travel on the Palestinian side of the road around Jerusalem from the east, without being allowed to enter.

Israel began building the 712-kilometer barrier of towering concrete walls, barbed-wire fences, trenches and closed military roads inside the occupied West Bank back in 2002.

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