Palestinians tear down parts of West Bank 'apartheid wall' as Iran strikes Israel

Palestinians tear down parts of West Bank 'apartheid wall' as Iran strikes Israel
Onlookers were seen cheering as Palestinians in the occupied territory tore down parts of the West Bank wall, long considered a symbol of Israeli oppression.
3 min read
14 April, 2024
The wall separates the West Bank from other parts of the territory and Israel, hindering Palestinian movement [Getty/file photo]

Palestinians in the West Bank were seen tearing down a part of the wall which divides the occupied territory on Saturday, as Iran launched strikes against Tel Aviv and other parts of Israel.

In videos shared online, scores of Palestinians in the occupied territory could be demolishing parts of the wall, which has been dubbed the apartheid wall since its inception due to its separation of Palestinians from their land and oppressive nature.

Onlookers could be heard cheering and clapping as metal scraps which constituted parts of the wall came off.

Iran had launched a series of missile and drone strikes on Israel in retaliation for an attack on Tehran’s consulate in Damascus earlier this month which killed several people, including two senior commanders of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps' Quds Force branch.

The attack has drawn mixed reactions, with a number of Arab states urging "restraint" and expressing concern over an escalation of violence in the region, while several EU states, the UK and the US condemned it.

Iran’s retaliatory strikes on Israel come against the backdrop of its deadly  and indiscriminate military onslaught in the Gaza Strip, which has killed 33,729 Palestinians – mostly women and children – since October 7.

Israel’s violence has also increased in the West Bank since, killing 464 Palestinians in the occupied territory since last October and injuring thousands more. Over 8,000 Palestinians have also been detained.

The barrier was put in place in the early 2000s by Israel. Parts of it lie on the Green Line separating Israel from the West Bank, but others encroach deep into West Bank territory, taking in settlements and seizing Palestinian farmland.

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The wall is 708 kilometres long, with most of its length running inside the West Bank, isolating thousands of Palestinians from the rest of the occupied territory.

The wall has long been associated with injustice faced by Palestinians at the hands of Israel, and its construction has been designated as a violation of international law by the International Court of Justice.

The barrier has also being described as undermining the Palestinian-Israeli peace process, and has been condemned for setting a precedent for Israeli annexation of Palestinian land.

The West Bank barrier restricts the movement of Palestinians going to and from parts of the territory, as well as Israel. Such constraints impact access to places of employment, medical and educational services.

The wall has also been used over the years as a canvas for art and graffiti illustrating Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories. UK-based street artist Banksy has created a series of images depicting the Palestinian struggle on the wall, notably in Bethlehem.