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***image2***On the 9th of April a new confiscation order of 1,200 dunums was issued for a road that will stretch from Khirbet Al Misbah, through the village of Beit Ur Thata, to Deir Ibzi.

The villagers, in the west of Ramallah district, are questioning the real motive for the construction of the new road.

On delivering the order, an officer of the Occupation Forces told villagers that the road was to be built for the benefit of the local Palestinian community. “The decision,” he claimed, “was based on decisions approved in the Road Map Agreement with the Palestinian Authority, in order to serve the Palestinian population living in northwest Jerusalem and to connect them with Ramallah and the West Bank.” He added, “The building of this road is in fact the responsibility of the PA, but we are doing it instead.”

In reality, far from benefiting Palestinians, this new section of road marks a further step towards the spider network of settler roads, bridges and tunnels that continues to surround Palestinian villages and towns, increasingly ghettoizing them. The apartheid network of 500 kilometers of roads open only to Jewish settlers cuts through huge swathes of the West Bank, with Palestinians restricted to poor roads and tunnels controlled by the Occupation.

If the Khirbet Al Misbah to Deir Ibzi section of road is completed, a dozen Palestinian villages will be isolated between the Apartheid Wall and the settler road, with their exit and entry from this prison controlled by a single gated tunnel.

A fortified settler road, fenced off and un-crossable for Palestinians, is already in place in the area, built on land belonging to the above villages. Such roads, and the obligatory security zones which accompany them, separate Palestinians from their lands, isolating villages and towns from each other.

It is feared that through the construction of this new road for Palestinians, the Occupation is looking to replace existing, more direct routes linking villages in the area with Ramallah, thus enabling the further expansion of settlements and the Greater Jerusalem project of Judeaization and ethnic cleansing. At present, Greater Jerusalem stretches west to the settlement of Haradar. With the completion of this section of the settler road network it will be able to stretch a further 15 kilometers west, to the settlement of Mod’in and encompassing yet more Palestinian land.