Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

PLO Legal Adviser Exposes Settlements, Apartheid Wall

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

PLO Legal Adviser Exposes Settlements, Apartheid Wall

Article excerpt

The Palestine Center in Washington, DC held a July 18 press briefing by attorney Stephannie Khoury, one of the Palestinian Authority's legal advisers for negotiations. Khoury exposed the destructive nature of settlements on Palestinian lives, and also revealed Israel's present plans to build new settlements despite the ongoing peace initiative. Fouad Hallak, another attorney from the PLO negotiation team, assisted Khoury in presenting a series of slides that showed the exact dimensions of the apartheid wall currently being built in the West Bank.

Jerusalem, the claimed capital of both Israel and Palestine, is central to the controversial construction of both the settlements and the wall. Khoury presented a series of maps and satellite pictures depicting East Jerusalem as surrounded by settlements to the east, north and south--effectively imprisoning the entire city within a ring of Israeli outposts, settlements and bypass roads. Currently over 200,000 Israeli settlers surround the Jerusalem area, despite the fact that according to the Geneva Conventions and several U.N. resolutions the construction of civilian bases by an occupying power such as Israel is illegal under international law.

The Efrat settlement, Khoury added, which is one of the largest in the West Bank and is located just south of Jerusalem, also separates the city of Bethlehem from the surrounding areas. A current project called the El-Plan will create a bypass road from Efrat to Jerusalem and, if allowed to proceed, will cut the West Bank into two halves, north and south. …

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