‘They have guns and we have nice words’

By EA Patricia

Route 60 runs 235km from the Israeli city of Beersheva to the Israeli city of Nazareth and is one of the few roads that allows uninterrupted travel from the north of the West Bank to the south. It connects the Palestinian cities of Jenin in the north to Hebron in the south, linking both with Jerusalem. This major transport route is an important route for the many Israeli settlements that line its path. Settlements are Israeli only housing units built in the occupied West Bank, which are illegal under international law.

Restricting the movement of the Palestinian population is one of the tools that Israel uses to control and occupy the West Bank and many of these disruptive strategies are evident along Route 60.  Restrictions on Route 60 include separate bus stops for Palestinians and Israeli settlers (with settler bus stops being protected by groups of armed Israeli soldiers), the separation barrier, countless roadblocks, military checkpoints, flying checkpoints (temporary checkpoints that appear unexpectedly) and forced diversions. Approximately 25,000 acres of private Palestinian owned land has been annexed in order to create Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Some of this land is also used to create Israeli settler only roads and expand existing roads to improve the road network for settlers. 

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