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Christians protest against Israel's 'divisive' separation barrier

West Bank

Christians protest against Israel's 'divisive' separation barrier

Israeli security forces dispersed a group of Palestinian protesters in the occupied West Bank on Sunday, towards the end of a demonstration against the construction of Israel’s separation barrier.

The police said they made two arrests.

Court rulings have stopped part of the barrier that would have separated a monastery from a convent of the same Catholic order.

But Israel has carried on building the rest of the wall, leaving only a short gap.

Among the protesters in the Christian village of Beit Jala was the former Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem.

“Our message is: this land is ours. Whatever you ruled, whatever you decided, you are deciding by the force of wars and weapons, and this is illegal,” Michel Sabbah said.

Protesters believe the wall is being used to link Israeli settlements, consolidating the annexation of Christian land.

In 2004 the International Court of Justice ruled that the planned 700-kilometre barrier was illegal, citing the part Israel had begun building in occupied Palestinian territory.

Five years ago part of a wall was dismantled as Israel said the security situation had improved.

The wall had been put in place during the second intifada to prevent Palestinian gunfire from reaching the Jewish village of Gilo.

Today the battle over what Palestinians dub the “apartheid wall” rages on.


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