While the eyes of the world are on the new intifada in Iraq, it is business as usual in the occupied Palestinian Territories. Yesterday, soldiers of the IDF locked inside their homes the people of the West Bank village of Biddu, while construction crews cleared their land for the building of the Separation Wall.
(Photo: REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic)
(Photo: AFP/Pedro Ugarte)
Trapped inside their homes, these Palestinians are watching the uprooting of their 140 olive trees. It was apparently vital for the security of Israel that the Wall pass directly through the olive grove that is Biddu's source of income.
Coincidentally, the United States Administration announced today that it has decided how much it will cut its promised loan guarantees to Israel, as punishment for the illegal incursion of the Separation Wall into the Palestinian Territories. (U.S. law requires that the State Department deduct from the guarantees, on a dollar-for-dollar basis, sums that are spent "for activities which the president determines are inconsistent with the objectives and understandings reached between the United States and the government of Israel").
According to Secretary of State Powell, the U.S. has decided that an appropriate penalty for the destruction and disruption of hundreds of thousands of Palestinian lives, the de facto annexation of 10% of the West Bank's land and 50% of its potable water, will be ..... zero dollars.
Business as usual, indeed.