The Apartheid Wall saga continues
Terje Roed-Larsen, UN special coordinator in occupied territories (UNSCO) wrote an objective report on impact of current Intifada, on Palestinian economy in THE FINANCIAL TIMES, on December 21, 2001. According to Roed-Larsen- ·Unemployment in West Bank has risen from 11% to 25%. ·Unemployment in Gaza strip has crossed 50% mark. ·The revenue of Palestinian Authority (PA) has declined by 57%. ·The overall loss to Palestinian economy is estimated in range of $ 2.4 billion and $ 3.4 billion. ·A steady decline of 37% in real incomes. ·46% of Palestinian population remains below poverty level figure of $ 2 a day. ·Israel refuses to pay amount of $ 350 million in taxes that it owes to PA. ·It has cancelled work permits of 45,000 Palestinians.
To compound matters, Palestinian population is being beaten to abject submission by use of brutal military and Air Force strikes, specifically aimed to annihilate terrorists. The Hamas leaders Yasin Malik and Al-Rantissi were liquidated with missile strikes. Finally there is "Apartheid Wall", which Israel claims is being built only to safe guard itself from terror strikes of Hamas, Al Aqsa Martyr's brigade, Islamic Jihad and Lebanese ultra force, Hezbollah.
The Likud party led coalition government, headed by Ariel Sharon, is stringently implementing these repressive measures. He is actively supported by former PM and Labour party leader Ehud Barak and Benjamin Netanyahu of far right. The current government has a center of right ideological position and commands a wide range of support from Labour on left to religious parties on extreme right.
Historically and traditionally Zionist state has been given unstinted support by US to neutralize pan Arabic nationalism as well as communist activities abound in Arab peninsula in 50s and 60s. The Likud Government also enjoys active alliance between influential Jewish lobby and Christian Right of US republicans. The pro Israeli cabal consisting of Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith and Richard Perle, who run Bush administration, are actively promoting Israeli measures.
Currently issue of "Apartheid Wall" is most contentious among all crises that has enveloped Palestinian people. In May 2003, Sharon had categorically stated- "Ruling 3.5 million people can not go on indefinitely. You may not like word but what's happening is occupation. Holding 3.5 million Palestinians is a bad thing for Israel, for Palestinians, for Israel economy. We have to end this subject without risking our security". This was how Sharon had hinted of his diabolical concept of wall. But as soon as work on wall proceeded, it drew worldwide criticism from all respective quarters. On October 21, 2003 UN General Assembly overwhelmingly approved a resolution demanding Israel tear down proposed 673 km long barrier. In near unanimous resolution, which asked Israel to "Stop and reverse", only US, Israel, Micronesia and Marshall Islands voted against motion.
Even as Saeb Erekat (chief Palestinian negotiator) and Yasser Arafat rejoiced that world had just given its verdict, Ehud Olmert (senior Israeli Cabinet member) reiterated Israel's commitment. "The fence will continue to be built. We have to worry about Israel's security and it is clear that we will not act according to instructions of a hostile, automatic majority, which has always acted against Israel" - he said.
The ambitious project is actually a sinister bid by Tel Aviv to grab as much land as possible from Palestinians. Once completed it will gobble up entire Jordan valley and 58% of West Bank. The wall will deprive Palestinians, their rights over lands, water and other essential services such as medical facilities, schools and from field of their jobs. It will be most blatant act of Human Rights violation in history of mankind. It will further cripple Palestinian economy from its already fragile state.