Sunday, July 29, 2007

New UN map charts West Bank reality

A new map of the West Bank (see below), 40 years after its conquest by Israel in the Six Day War, gives the most definitive picture so far of a territory in which 2.5m Palestinians are confined to dozens of enclaves separated by Israeli roads, settlements, fences and military zones.

Produced by the United Nations’s Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs, it is based on extensive monitoring in the field combined with analysis of satellite imagery. It provides an overall picture officials say is even more comprehensive than charts drawn up by the Israeli military.

The impact of Israeli civilian and military infrastructure is to render 40 per cent of the territory, which is roughly the size of the US state of Delaware or the English county of Norfolk, off-limits to Palestinians.

The rest of the territory, including main centres such as Nablus and Jericho, is split into isolated spots. Movement between them is restricted by 450 roadblocks and 70 manned checkpoints...

...The map is one of a number of documents whose publication has coincided with Monday’s anniversary of the 1967 war. Amnesty, the rights group, issued a report that accused Israel of a land grab in the West Bank and called for urgent action to address “widespread human rights abuses committed under the occupation”.

The Israeli justice ministry branded the report as “one-sided, immoral and riddled with mistakes”.
Published: June 4 2007 16:51 | Last updated: June 4 2007 16:51

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2007

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