RAMALLAH, August 16 (JMCC) - The Israeli military began removing on Sunday a cement blast wall surrounding the settlement
of Gilo near Bethlehem
The move does not alter the path of the Wall
has built through the West Bank
, a series of cement walls, barbed wire fencing, patrol roads and guard towers.
Israel Defence Forces spokeswoman Avital Leibovich said yesterday that this was the first time we have moved such a structure from a neighbourhood that was directly hit by sniper fire and shells. Lieutenant-General Hezi Revivo, of the engineering force removing the Gilo wall, told the Ynet news service: The security situation in the area is better than it was in the period before the wall was built. Israel has praised the performance of US-trained Palestinian security forces. Read
But Ghassan Khatib, spokesman for the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority, said: They are not easing anything in practical terms. The only significance is an acknowledgement of the security situation. We are disappointed that when they acknowledge improvements in security they are not lifting the restrictions related to the day to day life of Palestinians, like removing checkpoints and stopping expansion of the wall itself.
The north-south route of the main separation barrier deviates at many points from the pre-1967 green line isolating Palestinian villages and cutting off Palestinian residents from their farmland, urban services, and their neighbours.
the story at the Independent...