Israel has resumed constructing its controversial separation wall northwest of the occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem that is viewed as an embodiment of Tel Aviv’s oppression against the Palestinians.
Israeli forces have placed a four-meter-high barbed wire fence in Ein Jwaizeh area to the northwest of al-Walaja village, completely encircling it, Hasan Brijiyeh from the committee against the Apartheid Wall and settlements in Bethlehem, told the official Palestinian news agency Wafa on Saturday.
“Construction of the barrier in the West Bank gravely violates the rights of Palestinians in the areas affected, restricting their access to their lands, crucial services and relatives on the other side of the barrier. The barrier also prevents any possibility of economic development,” said Israeli rights group B’Tselem on its website.
Israel began building the barrier of walls and fences inside the occupied West Bank back in 2002. Tel Aviv argues that the project is aimed at preventing infiltration into the occupied territories, but Palestinians say the move is yet another violation of their rights and allows for further annexation of their land.
If completed, the barrier will result in the isolation of 9.4 percent of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem al-Quds, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
The International Court of Justice said in an advisory opinion issued in 2004 that the “apartheid wall” violates international law and urged Israel to remove it from the occupied territories.