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Brit Tzedek v'Shalom
Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace
Where We Stand
Stop the Expansion of the Security Barrier around Ariel
June 18, 2004
The Israeli government has begun a troubling new round of construction of the "security barrier" deep inside the West Bank around the settlement of Ariel, as well as several other settlements, including Immanuel and Kedumim, going against its assurances to the U.S. Administration that it would not take this step without prior American consultation.
By moving forward with this significant new step and shrugging off U.S. objections to the extension of the security barrier beyond what had been agreed upon, the Israeli government is creating more obstacles to a negotiated settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as well as undermining its relationship with the Bush administration.
With every additional kilometer that the barrier extends into the West Bank, creating a new de facto border for Israel, the prospects for a peaceful negotiated settlement recede further. The barrier is not a security barrier, but rather a political barrier to progress towards peace.
The planned expansion of West Bank settlements, through the construction of new housing units, reinforces this point. Such construction makes the creation of a viable Palestinian state seem ever-more remote. Israel will only be secured by removing the settlements. The expansion of the barrier around Ariel, Immanuel, and Kedumim will harm Israel's security still further.