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February 09, 2004

Wall? Fence? What exactly is this structure?  

via BBC "The Thing", as one commentator has drolly called it, is in fact part-wall, part-fence. Most of its 700-kilometre (440-mile) length is made up of a concrete base with a five-metre-high wire-and-mesh superstructure. Rolls of razor wire and a four-metre-deep ditch are placed on one side. In addition, the structure is fitted with electronic sensors and has an earth-covered "trace road" beside it where footprints of anyone crossing can be seen.

Parts of the structure consist of an eight-metre-high solid concrete wall, complete with massive watchtowers. The solid section around the Palestinian town of Qalqilya is conceived as a "sniper wall" to prevent gun attacks against Israeli motorists on the nearby Trans-Israel Highway.

Contractors broke ground on the project in June 2002 between Qalqilya and Jenin. It is still under construction but Israeli officials have announced that there could be some changes to the route.

What is the UN's position on the fence?
In late September, the UN issued a report which condemned the barrier as illegal and tantamount to "an unlawful act of annexation".

Israel has dismissed the UN report as "one-sided, highly politicised and biased".

With court proceedings in The Hague looming, 44 countries have filed opinions on the barrier.

Israel, the US, the European Union and others argue that the international court is not the proper forum to discuss the issue.
SO WHAT IS THE PROPER FORUM TO DISCUSS THE ISSUE RICH WHITE PEOPLE?

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