Tuesday, November 30, 2004

 

Road Rules

Amira Hass has an article in Ha'aretz today about donor countries and road construction in the occupied Palestinian territories. Apparently, because the donor mandate is set up to assist the Palestinians, it is only committed to projects and proposals submitted by the PA.
The representatives of the donor countries, including the U.S. consul general in Jerusalem, have officially said they do not intend to finance any project against the will of the PA....

The PA's position, said [Ghassan] al Khatib ahead of the donor conference next week, is that Israel is trading territorial contiguity for a future Palestinian state with "transportation contiguity" for Palestinians and territorial contiguity between the settlements and Israel proper. The alternative, secondary roads, which run parallel to the main highways, are long, winding, more difficult for traffic, and not economically viable.

Moreover, their existence as a separate traffic network, said the PA planning minister, will strengthen the settlements, which the international court has ruled illegal. Al Khatib emphasized that the U.S. consul general told PA Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia that the U.S. accepts the PA position and will not carry out any road projects in the West Bank against the PA's will.
Well, one cannot help but appreciate the desire of the donor countries not to contribute to one of the major problems in the territories. (Although it's more like a big ball of problems that includes settlements, transportation, freedom of movement, etc.) Unfortunately, this is not going to stop Israel from continuing it's project of building roads for Jewish use only in the occupied territories, and it's not going to help in any immediate way the crisis of movement and transportation in the occupied territories. On the other hand, ostensibly the donor money is Palestinian money, and they shouldn't have to pay for their own occupation (although this has been known to happen when Israel withholds Palestinian tax money).

Comments:
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