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There's no alternative to Israeli"wall"

Letters    -   Friday November 3rd 2006

On the matter of the hardships suffered by Palestinians due to Israel's new
security "wall" I believe it is only right that people in Ireland hear about
their loss of land or the demolition of their houses due to the building of
the wall, and the suffering which ordinary Palestinians have endured due to
the current phase of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict (Living in the shadow
of the wall, Letters, November 1).
However, a few issues need clarification:


1. The "wall" is actually a wire fence for 97pc of its length, 720km. Less
than three per cent is the high concrete wall which is commonly shown
.
And there are multiple entry points along it.


2. The reason it was built was to stop suicide bombing by extremists within
the Palestinian community. 525 Israelis and others were killed in the 147
suicide bombing attacks which occurred since September, 2000.
Most Palestinian people do not support these suicide attacks. Palestinian
leader Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) has condemned the attacks, as has the
international community.


3. The "wall" has reduced the terror attacks significantly. In 2002 there
were 60 suicide bombings in Israel. When the "wall"/security fence was
completed in 2003, only 26 suicide attacks occurred. This fell to 15 in 2004
and to seven in 2005.


4. The "wall"/security fence is obviously controversial and has been
condemned by the International Court of Justice as "illegal". However, the
background to this decision is quite complex. The original resolution at the
UN General Assembly which referred the "wall" issue to the ICJ for
judgement, was proposed by 27, mainly Middle Eastern states, many of which
whom have appalling human rights records themselves.
Only 90 of the 191 General Assembly members voted for the resolution on the
"wall" as many saw it to be nothing less than an attempt to adopt a partisan
approach to resolving the issue.
The Israeli/Palestinian conflict of the last 60 years has been a tragedy for
all parties involved and should be resolved, to use a cliche, politically.
But if we are to suggest to Israel that the "wall"/fence should be
dismantled, do we have an alternative means of stopping the suicide
bombers from wreaking havoc through their cult of death?
PAUL MACDONALD,
BSc (International politics),
PINEWOOD AVE,
CARLOW

C Irish Independent
http://www.unison.ie/irish_independent/ & http://www.unison.ie/

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