[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Sunday, 11 January, 2004, 21:03 GMT
Qurei slams 'racist' Israeli wall
Mr Qurei with armed guard at the Israeli wall
Mr Qurei said the barrier would not bring peace or stability
The Palestinian prime minister has urged the US and others to stop Israel from building its controversial separation barrier in the West Bank.

Ahmed Qurei was making his first site visit to part of the structure - a giant concrete wall that all but cuts off the Palestinian town of Qalqilya.

He called it a racist structure meant to prevent a future Palestinian state.

His visit coincided with a protest in Tel Aviv by right-wing Israelis over plans to close some Jewish settlements.

Correspondents say the protest was the biggest show of force by the settler movement since the proposals were made last year.

Tens of thousands of people, including at least two members of Mr Sharon's cabinet, rallied under the slogan "Israel will not bend - on security, on settlements, on the war on terror".

'No peace'

Mr Qurei re-affirmed his commitment to a "two-state" solution with separate Israeli and Palestinian states.

On Thursday he had warned that Palestinians could demand a "one-state" solution - an Arab-majority state on both Israel and the Palestinian territories - if Israel imposed a unilateral territorial settlement.

"This wall will not bring peace or security for the Israelis," he said in the shadow of the 10-metre-high barrier, complete with watchtowers.

"If the Israeli side wants to build peace, they will find the Palestinian side ready to build peace as well, on the basis of two countries - a country for the Israelis and a country for the Palestinians."

Guide to the route and structure of the West Bank barrier

But he said the Palestinians had "several options" if Israel went ahead with its plan.

Israel says the barrier is essential to stop suicide bombers, but the Palestinians see it as an attempt to grab some of the most fertile West Bank areas before imposing its route as a border.

Mr Qurei said about 3,600 hectares (8,900 acres) of farmland had been swallowed by the barrier in Qalqilya.

Elsewhere, a Palestinian man was blown up by a bomb he was carrying near an Israeli settlement, close to the West Bank city of Nablus.

The Israeli military said it believed the man was a suicide bomber and the device had gone off prematurely.

Israeli soldiers also said they shot dead a young Palestinian man after they came under attack by a stone-throwing crowd in a village near Nablus.

They said the man was holding a lit petrol bomb, but witnesses said he was not involved in the violence and was studying on a balcony when he was shot.

The BBC's Linden Kemkaran
"It's thought that Israel may try to negotiate whille holding on to the Golan Heights"

Israel and the Palestinians



Palestinian women sit on a roof top of the home of a Palestinian family in Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip on 20 November 2006. Human shields
Palestinians adopt a new tactic to deter Israeli attacks, but this is a high-risk strategy




The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific