Monday, January 22, 2007

IDF source admits 44 barriers allegedly removed did not exist

By Avi Issacharoff

22 January 2007

The Israel Defense Forces admitted on Sunday that the 44
dirt obstacles it said had been removed from around West
Bank villages did not actually exist.

Last Tuesday, the IDF announced that it had removed 44
dirt obstacles that blocked access roads to West Bank
villages, to fulfill promises made by Prime Minister Ehud
Olmert to Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas
during their meeting a month ago. Olmert had pledged
measures to ease the lives of Palestinian civilians.

However, a military source admitted on Sunday that these
obstacles "had either been removed before the political
level decided on the alleviations or had been bypassed by
Palestinians earlier, and a decision had been made not to
rebuild them."

This statement confirms a claim made recently by United
Nations organizations operating in the territories: that
most of these barriers were not removed, because they had
not existed for months.

In response, the IDF Spokesman's Office said: "The IDF
recently removed 44 barriers in an effort to ease the
movement of the Palestinian population in Judea and
Samaria. These actions are being carried out in line with
assessments of the situation."

The IDF has erected close to 400 such dirt obstacles in
recent years.

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