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Road near West Bank reopened after 11 years
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 09 - 07 - 2013


Mohammed Mar'i
Saudi Gazette

RAMALLAH – The Israeli occupation authorities on Monday opened a road near the West Bank city of Ramallah after eleven years of closure.
The Palestinian Civil Affairs Commission said that the Israeli authorities allowed the Palestinian Authority (PA) to reopen road 466 near Ein Seinya, to the north of Ramallah. The Israeli army closed the 10 kilometer road in 2002 under the pretext that Palestinian militants opened fire against Jewish occupiers.
The commission said that “Israel agreed to reopen the road after intensive pressure from the PA.” the closed section is located in Area C.
It said that road, which begins from the entrance of Beit El settlement to the northern entrance of Ein Seinya, connect Ramallah with the Palestinian cities in northern West Bank. It added that the Palestinian Ministry of Public Works rehabilitated the road due to the damage Israeli forces caused.
The commission added that the road connects Ramallah with its northern villages, home to 60,000 Palestinian residents. It added that the Palestinian residents were forced to use alternative roads during the last eleven years to travel between the two destinations.
The spokesman of Israeli army said that the decision to open the road to Palestinian traffic was approval by the Israeli forces OC Central Command and the Judea and Samaria (West Bank) Division.
The spokesman added that the opening of the roads is part of goodwill gestures to Palestinians in the West Bank. Israel used to extend goodwill gestures to bolster Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and moderates in the PA.
According to the Oslo Accords, Area A is under Palestinian administrative and security control, Area B under Palestinian administrative control but under Israeli security one, the Area C is under full Israeli control. Area C, which today constitutes about 60 percent of West Bank land, is a geographic area created in negotiations between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization in 1995.
The Palestinians decided to suspend the direct peace talks with Israel in October 2010, after the latter insisted on keeping building settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
The Palestinians insist not to resume any direct or indirect peace talks with Israel before the latter clearly declares a complete cessation of settlement activities in the territories occupied in 1967, including East Jerusalem that Palestinians want the capital of their future state. They also demand the release of 123 Palestinian prisoners who were arrested before the Oslo Accords in 1993.
Since March, Kerry held several meetings with Palestinian and Israeli leaders in bid to revive the direct peace talks between Palestinian Authority and Israel, thus far in vain.
On Sunday, a senior Palestinian official said that American mediation alone will not bring peace between Israelis and Palestinians.
“I do not believe we can reach an agreement through US mediation alone. I believe that peace by means of a two-state solution is possible,” Nabil Sha'ath, a Palestinian negotiator and member of President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah Central Committee, said during a meeting with members of Israeli parties Likud and Shas.
Sha'ath added that Kerry left from his last visit to the region with the feeling that there was more to do to bring the parties back to the negotiating table.


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