Defiant Palestinians Resist Apartheid Road System
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Dhahariya Yesterday: Around 75 Palestinians, supported by activists from the Palestinian Solidarity Project, Israeli anarchists and other internationals arrived at the roadblock on the junction connecting the main road from Dhahariya to Route 60. Within minutes a coachload of men, women and children from the village arrived. The group began to move the roadblock using a large rope. After the chants of “waahid, ‘tneen, teletaa”, the group hauled the first block to the side of the road.
As the group dragged the second block, two IOF jeeps arrived. Despite soldiers demanding that the group stop, attempting to push people out of the way and trying to run their jeep into those pulling the rope, the group remained defiant and persisted with the removal. They eventually hauled off the second block, clearing a gap large enough for cars to pass through.
The roadblock has been installed since the beginning of the first Intifada. It prevents the 90,000 Palestinians in Dhahariya and neighbouring villages from accessing Route 60, the main road into Hebron. This forces them to take a longer alternative route, turning what would be a 20-minute journey into an hour and a half. The nearest hospital to Dhahariya is in Hebron, so this roadblock added more than an hour onto the journey time for an ambulance, effectively cutting off the village from emergency medical care.
This roadblock is part of the Israeli Governmentâ€™s wider strategy to create and apartheid road system throughout the West Bank. Many existing roads are reserved for settlers and Israeli citizens only, and the Israeli Government continues to cut off access for Palestinians. This policy blocks major access routes for trade and emergency services to Palestinians and is bringing the economy to its knees.
Roadblock removals have become a priority in PSP’s work. They are both symbolic and practical acts of resistance; changing the impact of the Occupation on Palestinians in concrete ways.