On the periphery of southern Jerusalem, Israel is taking down the wall — concrete sections which it put up eight years ago. This is in the Jewish settlement of Gilo, which was built on land annexed by Israel following the war in 1967 — land the Palestinians seek for their own eventual state.
An Israeli resident of Gilo said he had “a good feeling” about this: “We hope this will also clear a path to peace.”
The shield on Jerusalem’s outskirts was against Palestinian gunfire and shelling. Its removal reflects improved security, say both the Israeli army and the Palestinian government.
The head of the Palestinian Governmental Press Office, Ghassan Khatib, said: “We believe that the success of the Palestinian security is supposed to be a motive for Israel not only to remove blocks in front of settlements, but also to remove barriers in front of the Palestinians and the restrictions on the movement of the Palestinians in the Palestinian territories.”
The firing on Gilo came from the nearby West Bank town of Beit Jala during a Palestinian uprising which also saw suicide bombers strike within Israel itself.