UN official slams Israel’s WB policy

PressTV – Sun May 15, 2011 3:20AM

Valerie Amos, the UN under-secretary-general For Humanitarian Affairs, and the world body’s emergency relief coordinator
The UN humanitarian chief has condemned the Israeli regime’s forceful displacement of Palestinians, emphasizing its unacceptable impact on Palestinian communities.

UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Valerie Amos called on Saturday for an end to the forced displacement of Palestinians from East al-Quds (Jerusalem) and parts of the West Bank, the world body reported on its website.

Amos made the call during a visit to East al-Quds and the West Bank village of Nabi Samwil on the first day of her four-day tour to the occupied Palestinian territories.

Amos, also the UN’s emergency relief coordinator, criticized the separation barrier Tel Aviv has been erecting through Palestinian farmlands.

She noted how the structure, 85 percent of which lies inside the West Bank, imprisons 8,500 Palestinians in closed areas between the barrier and the Green Line — the UN-drawn border between the West Bank and the occupied Palestinian territories of 1967.

“I am horrified by the way the barrier affects Palestinians,” she said in a statement issued by her office following her visit to Nabi Samwil, where residents are unable to travel to nearby al-Quds without permits and forced to pass through checkpoints to reach neighboring West Bank villages.

New construction is also forbidden in the village because of a “highly restrictive planning regime” in operation, she said.

“It divides communities and inhibits the provision of services. I visited a one-room school with no windows and very few facilities, which can’t be improved because the planning rules don’t allow it. This is unacceptable,” the UN official said.

Amos said only 13 percent of the land in East al-Quds is available for Palestinian use and therefore the area is overcrowded, while about 60,000 residents face demolition of their homes.

“These policies lead to forced displacement of Palestinians from Jerusalem (al-Quds) and from the rest of the West Bank,” the UN humanitarian chief said.

“Palestinians must be able to plan and develop their communities. They must be able to access education and healthcare facilities and to conduct their professional and personal lives without restriction,” she urged.

MRS/AGB/AKM

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