- Israel Opens West Bank Highway with Segregated Lanes for Israelis, Palestinians
by Ilan Ben Zion, Associated Press, via https://www.chicagotribune.com/
Israel inaugurated a new highway in the occupied West Bank on Thursday that features a large concrete wall segregating Israeli and Palestinian traffic.
One side of Route 4370 — located northeast of Jerusalem — will be open to Israeli vehicles only, while the other half will only be open to Palestinian traffic. Critics have branded it an “apartheid” highway, saying it is part of a segregated road system that benefits Jewish settlers.
The highway was built as part of a planned ring road east of Jerusalem that would connect the northern and southern West Bank. Construction began in 2005, but the 3-mile road lay unfinished for years until 2017.
Israeli officials inaugurating the new road on Wednesday touted it as a means of better connecting West Bank settlements north of Jerusalem to the city. Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan called the highway “an example of the ability to create coexistence between Israelis and Palestinian while guarding (against) the existing security challenges.”
The Palestinian Authority said in a statement that the “apartheid” road “poses a challenge to the credibility of the international community.”