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Israel bulldozes Fayyad's Freedom Road, again

March 26, 2011 9:54 P.M. (Updated: March 27, 2011 10:05 P.M.)
SALFIT (Ma'an) -- Israeli authorities bulldozed "Freedom Road" in the northern West Bank district of Salfit for the second time on Thursday.

Freedom Road was funded by the Palestinian Authority, and cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. The project was part of Prime Minister Salam Fayyad's plan to build institutions and infrastructure for a future Palestinian state.

The road allowed Palestinian families to access their homes, schools, land and health clinics.

Fayyad inaugurated the road in September 2010, but Israel's military destroyed it in November, while the prime minister was abroad.

Under Fayyad's supervision the municipality rebuilt the road, but Israeli bulldozers arrived in the area Thursday and destroyed it again.

The village mayor Abdul Kareem Rayan said Israeli forces kept residents away from the area and attacked locals who tried to defend the road, which provided a lifeline to villagers.

Rayan appealed to Fayyad and to international human rights organizations to intervene in Israel's aggression against Palestinians and their land.

The road was located in Area C. Under the Oslo Accords, Area C makes up 60 percent of the West Bank. It is under full Israeli military control, although the PA is still responsible for providing services in the area.

UN: Israel's road system in West Bank "apartheid"

In his report to the UN General Assembly in January, UN Special Rapporteur for human rights Richard Falk said Israel's segregation of roads in Area C violated international law, which prohibits apartheid.

"The dual system of roads, as correlated with legal regimes, creates two domains in the West Bank: one for privileged Israeli settlers and the other for subjugated Palestinians living under an occupation," Falk's report found.

Falk noted that roads being constructed or upgraded in Area C remained under Israel's control and "largely inaccessible to Palestinians."

Israel was expanding its Israeli-only road network in the West Bank to ease travel for settlers, while continuing to restrict Palestinian movement with checkpoints, roadblocks, earthmounds, earth walls, road gates, road barriers and trenches, Falk added.

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