and Beit Jala, to the south (Photo: Dave Bender)
Tel Aviv — Israel today continued to believe it was building a massive fence to seal off the West Bank instead of unwittingly footing the bill to construct the first stage of an 800-mile-long wall meant to seal off the entire state of Israel from everyone else.
Since construction began Sunday, Arab leaders have continually condemned the barrier, statements that have successfully motivated Prime Minister [Ehud Olmert] to keep building it.
"Israel should not unilaterally build a wall along its borders simply to keep Palestinians out," Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa said at a press conference yesterday. "We prefer negotiation over separation."
"How was that?" Moussa then whispered to an aide.
"Great. They're still walling themselves in," the aide said.
Increasing the pressure, Jordan's King Abdullah II added he hopes Israel "will at least stop once they've built a fence, and will not add sensors, patrols, obstacles, and trenches." In response, Israeli government spokesman Dan Gold said the fence was "just the beginning. Soon we will have a full security zone, with sensors, patrols, obstacles, and trenches."
"This is too easy," Abdullah said later.
Abdullah also insisted he wants to meet with [Olmert] next week to vehemently oppose construction of, say, a full 800-mile wall around the entire country. As a result, [Olmert] is expected to refuse the meeting and finish the wall by winter.
Elderly Israeli resting on Gilo anti-sniping wall, unaware of youthful image behind him. Wall faces Beit Jala,
south of neighborhood from where Palestinian snipers fired at residents and homes.
Segment of "Jerusalem Envelope" barrier is seen behind bushes. (Photo: Dave Bender)