Israel begins building wall in northern West Bank

by IANS |

Jerusalem, June 23 (IANS) Israel has begun building a 9-metre-tall wall to replace the old fence barrier in the northern occupied West Bank, said Israeli Defense Ministry, citing security reasons.

The 45-kilometre-long wall will stretch from near the Palestinian village of Salem, east of Nablus city in the northern West Bank, to the north of Tulkarm city, the Ministry added on Wednesday in a statement.

"The security barrier will include a massive concrete wall, protection measures and other technological means," the Ministry said,

The project was approved by Israeli government in April amid a wave of deadly Palestinian attacks in Israeli cities, and a total of 360 million shekels (about $104 million) were allocated for the construction, Xinhua news agency reported.

The controversial fence barrier built about 20 years ago has been a key symbol of Israel's control over the West Bank, with Israel arguing it is necessary to prevent Palestinian attacks and the Palestinians charging it as a feature of racial segregation and the Israeli apartheid regime.

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