Activists shut down traffic on new West Bank ‘apartheid road’

Activists say the highway, which separates Israeli and Palestinian traffic with an 26-foot concrete wall, will ‘strengthen Israeli rule, including by shutting out entire Palestinian areas.’

Palestinian and Israeli activists block Route 4370 in the West Bank, dubbed the 'apartheid road,' just east of Jerusalem, January 23, 2019. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Palestinian and Israeli activists block Route 4370 in the West Bank, dubbed the ‘apartheid road,’ just east of Jerusalem, January 23, 2019. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Dozens of Palestinian, Israeli, and international activists Wednesday morning blocked a highway many have dubbed the “apartheid road,” Route 4370 in the occupied West Bank, which separates Israeli and Palestinian traffic with an 26-foot concrete wall.

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The activists managed to shut down the highway for 20 minutes before Israeli Border Police officers suppressed the demonstration with stun grenades and arrested two.

One side of the road, which stretches between Route 437 and Route 1 just east of Jerusalem in the West Bank, is designated for Israeli citizens and the other, separated by the concrete wall, for Palestinians. The Israeli side allows easy access to central Jerusalem, while the other side is designed to funnel Palestinians through an underpass, so as to not disturb Israeli traffic into the city.

“We came here to protest against yet another apartheid road,” said Sahar Vardi, one of the organizers of the protest. “There are a number of such roads that separate Israelis and Palestinians, but on this road you see a wall in the middle, symbolizing the polices of the occupation.”

The official reasoning for opening the road was to alleviate traffic for Israeli settlers commuting to Jerusalem, as well as creating a new way for Palestinians to travel between the northern and southern West Bank. According to Vardi, the true goal of the highway is to help the settlers and “strengthen Israeli rule, including by shutting out entire Palestinian areas.”

Route 4370, known as the 'apartheid road,' just east of Jerusalem, West Bank. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Route 4370, known as the ‘apartheid road,’ just east of Jerusalem, West Bank. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Palestinians and human rights activists say the highway is part of plan to create territorial contiguity between Jerusalem and its surrounding settlements, particularly the highly-contested E1 area, the 12 sq. kilometer area located between Jerusalem and the West Bank settlement of Ma’ale Adumim. For decades, Israel has hoped to build up the area with settlements, connecting the settlement to Jerusalem and effectively bifurcating the West Bank.

“Every effort to improve the lives of Palestinians is done first and foremost for the sake of control and the settlers. This is what we are witnessing,” Vardi said.

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“This is a clear example of apartheid,” said Israeli activist Karen Isaacs. “Aside from the physical separation between Palestinians and Israelis, the goal is to annex this entire area to Jerusalem. We blocked this road to send a message that this is not a normal situation.”

This article was first published in Hebrew on Local Call. Read it here.

The post Activists shut down traffic on new West Bank ‘apartheid road’ appeared first on +972 Magazine.

For Michelle Alexander’s critics, Palestinians don’t deserve civil rights | +972 Magazine

Alexander is the latest prominent Black American in recent months to vocally express — and be targeted for — her solidarity with the Palestinian people, after others like Tamika Mallory, Marc Lamont Hill, and Angela Davis faced similar public outrages and disavowals. And fourth, for why it was written: to challenge the widespread fear of backlash, held by many progressive Americans, for publicly criticizing Israel and speaking up for Palestinian rights.

Source: For Michelle Alexander’s critics, Palestinians don’t deserve civil rights | +972 Magazine

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Source: Your Ward News duo found guilty of peddling hate against women and Jews | CBC News

Israeli teenager charged with manslaughter in stoning of Palestinian car

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Suspect accused of committing anti-Arab ‘act of terror’

Israeli prosecutors have charged a 16-year-old Israeli settler with manslaughter after he was accused of throwing a rock at a speeding car and killing a Palestinian woman.

According to the indictment, the suspect deliberately targeted the family car on 12 October in the occupied West Bank in an anti-Arab attack “as part of an act of terror”.

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Heidi Allen joins former Labour MP Frank Field on mission to highlight the poverty caused by her party’s policies

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Brazil’s openly gay congressman leaves job and country after death threats

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Jean Wyllys said he was currently outside of the country and had no plans to return after a growing number of threats in past year

Brazil’s first and only openly gay congressman has announced that he is leaving his job – and the country – after receiving death threats.

In a newspaper interview on Thursday, Jean Wyllys said he was currently outside of Brazil and had no plans to return after a growing number of threats over the past year.

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