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Barrier will not bring Israel peace, says Palestinian PM on tour (AFP-FRANCE PRESSE) QALQILYA, West Bank 01/11/03 8:40 AM ET) Source: http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=1515&ncid=1515&e=4&u=/afp/20040111/wl_mideast_afp/mideast_barrier_040111134015
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QALQILYA, West Bank (AFP) - Palestinian prime minister Ahmed Qorei viewed the impact of Israel´s controversial West Bank barrier first hand on a tour of this town where families are encircled by a giant concrete wall.
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Qorei told journalists that the barrier, which has been widely criticised by foreign governments, would not bring security to Israel.
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"This wall will not bring peace or security for the Israelis," Qorei said Sunday on his first on-site visit to the barrier which is springing up across the West Bank.
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The barrier mainly consists of barbed wire fencing as it snakes its way across the West Bank but takes the form of a concrete wall around Qalqilya, in the north of the territory.
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The Qalqilya area has seen some of the fiercest protests against the project with more than 1,000 people rallying a couple of weeks ago in the town while an Israeli was shot in the leg during a protest near Qalqilya on December 26.
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While Israel insists that the barrier is essential to prevent attacks on its soil, the Palestinians regard it as little more than an attempt to pre-empt the borders of their promised future state and grab some of their most fertile land with its route jutting deep into the West Bank at times.
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Qorei said that some 36,000 dunums (3,600 hectares, 8,900 acres) of farmland had been swallowed by the barrier in Qalqilya.
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The premier also said that what the Palestinians have dubbed the "apartheid wall" was seen as a new symbol of the Israeli occupation which would only inflame feelings.
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"As long as the occupation is still in our land, the intifada (the Palestinian uprising which began in September 2000) and struggle will continue," he vowed. (Copyright © 2004 Agence France Presse. 01/11/04)
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