01 June 2007

Facts you should know about the situation in Palestine

Taken from The Iron Wall website

Did you know…

* 78% of the settlement population comes from Europe and North America.

* Jewish settlers in the West Bank consume 5 times more water than Palestinians - water that is illegally taken from Palestinian water sources.

* 80% of the settlers consider themselves to be economic settlers who live in the settlements to benefit from government incentives.

* Palestinian travel is restricted or entirely prohibited on 41 roads and sections of roads throughout the West Bank, covering a total of over 700 kilometers of roadway. Settlers can travel freely on these roads.

* There are two different laws in the Occupied Palestinian Territories; one for the settlers - civil law - and one for the Palestinians - military law.

* There are now more Jewish settlers in Palestinian East Jerusalem than Palestinians.

* Israeli Jews living, working or investing in the settlements are entitled to significant financial benefits from the Government of Israel. These include generous loans for the purchase of apartments, exemption from tuition fees in schools and reductions in income taxes.

* Settlements with their bypass roads and security zones occupy 42% of the West Bank.

* Before Israel evacuated its 8,000 settlers from Gaza Strip, they were occupying 32% of the area, with the remainder inhabited by 1.4 million Palestinians. The population density was 600 per square kilometer in the settlements to 55,000 per square kilometer in the refugee camps, making Gaza the most densely populated place on earth.

* There are now more than 200 Jewish-only settlements in the West Bank.

* During the Oslo era, from its inauguration on the White House lawn in September 1993 until June 2001, Israel completed construction on 20,371 settlement units; a number equal to 62% of all settlement housing built from 1967 to 1993.

* The wall Israel is constructing in the West Bank is four times the length of the Berlin Wall and three times as high.

* The length of the 'Green Line' - the border between Israel and the West Bank - is 315 kilometers. The path of the Wall is 670 kilometers long.

* Israel receives approximately US $10 million every day from the United States.

All of these facts bother me but it is the last one that affects me the most. $10 million every day given to Israel or any country for that matter rather than the educational system here in the U.S. is absurd! My school could use a mere $1 million or even $500,000 of that money to completely change it's appearance and supply the kids with all the notebooks and pencils they could ever hope to own and use! Where are our priorities?

I'm not a political person but slowly, as I read more about this situation, I find myself becoming more and more interested in U.S. politics. Perhaps ignorance is not always bliss...

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