Wednesday, May 09, 2007

World Bank: 50% of West Bank Restricted

The World Bank has just come out with a report on movement restrictions in the West Bank. According to this report, access to more than 50% of the land in the West Bank is restricted for Palestinians. Check out the report, but take a look at some "highlights."
  • Since Israel signed an agreement on improving movement and access for Palestinians in November 2005, restrictions have instead become tighter. Since the agreement, the number of physical obstacles in the West Bank increased by 44 percent, to 547.
  • Israel's separation barrier slices off 8.5 percent of the West Bank. That area, declared "closed" by Israel and falling under a strict permit regime, is home to some 50,000 Palestinians in 38 villages and towns.
  • Physical and administrative obstacles have divided the West Bank into 10 enclaves, and Palestinians have to move through checkpoints to get from one to the other.
  • Israel's permit system can be used to control the movement of Palestinian residents outside their immediate municipal area and to restrict access to more than 50 percent of the West Bank. In compiling that figure, the bank considered the West Bank and east Jerusalem as a single unit, in line with the international community's refusal to accept Israel's annexation of the eastern sector of the city.
[Highlights taken from International Herald Tribune article]

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