Israel Unveils Highway in West Bank Slammed by Palestinians as 'Apartheid Road'

Israel Unveils Highway in West Bank Slammed by Palestinians as 'Apartheid Road'

Israel Unveils Highway in West Bank Slammed by Palestinians as 'Apartheid Road'

According to Palestinian figures, 640,000 Jewish settlers now live on 196 settlements (built with the Israeli government's permission) and more than 200 settler "outposts" (built without its permission) across the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

The opening ceremony was reportedly attended by Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Leon, Transport Minister Yisrael Katz and Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan. It had remained closed, however, due to a long-running dispute between the Israeli army and police over who should man checkpoints along the highway.

Palestinian officials and activists on the other hand have condemned the road as an example of Israeli apartheid and racism against Palestinians.

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry, in turn, lashed out at Israel's decision to open the highway, which the ministry claimed "comes within the framework of Israel's ongoing efforts to undermine any chance of reaching a political solution".

He warned that this road plan could lead to the expulsion of Khan Al-Ahmar village and more than 21 other Palestinian communities.

The "Apartheid Road" has been years in the making, and according to rights groups, and is about much more than just easing traffic for settlers travelling to Jerusalem.

Instead, Palestinian drivers will travel on the Palestinian side of the road around Jerusalem from the east, without being allowed to enter.

However, the Palestinian government has no jurisdiction over Israelis in the West Bank, and violent acts carried out by Israeli settlers often occur in the presence of Israeli military forces who rarely act to protect Palestinian residents.

About 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 settlements built illegally since the 1967 occupation of the Palestinian territories. In this case, however, the wall separates the whole route. The road is divided in the middle by an eight-meter high wall.

R. Kelly's attorney denies abuse allegations in documentary
West Ham United vs. Arsenal - Football Match Report