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Last Updated: Monday, 23 April 2007, 13:36 GMT 14:36 UK
Press fury at Baghdad wall
Arabic press

A controversial wall being built by US forces in a Baghdad's Sunni district on a mainly Shia east bank of Tigris has been roundly condemned by papers both in Iraq and wider region.

Fears are expressed that the wall will turn the capital into "a big prison", exacerbate sectarian tensions and trigger the construction of similar barriers elsewhere in the country.

A Syrian daily urges Iraqis to rise up and fight what it sees as part of wider US-Israeli efforts to isolate Arabs or "face extermination".

BASIM AL-SHAYKH IN IRAQ'S AL-DUSTUR

The sectarian isolation wall... is a hateful gesture feared to recur and spread in Baghdad until we find ourselves in the coming days in need of visas or special permits to enter this or that area. We are not against security precautions as such... but we also hope that this will not be done at the expense of our moral and inherited values.

KADIM AL-MIQDADI IN IRAQ'S AL-ZAMAN

People of al-Adamiyah, rise up and destroy this wall... produced by Israeli factories in Tel Aviv! These are the same barriers that isolated Palestinian villages and cities from each other... under the pretext of defending Israel security. Don't forget that the Pentagon is behind the idea of establishing closed Iraqi communities with the aim of establishing sectarianism.

ABD-AL-BARI ATWAN IN PAN-ARAB AL-QUDS AL-ARABI

Today it's al-Adhamiyah, tomorrow it will be Basra, the day after Mosul and the day after that Kirkuk - until the whole of Iraq becomes a Bantustan - a sectarian ghetto which closes its doors to strangers from other ghettos. There is no national identity anymore, only sectarian and racial identity.

GHASSAN AL-SHARBAL IN PAN-ARAB AL-HAYAT

We were dreaming of destroying the racist wall built by Israel and here come walls to destroy our cities. To predict the Arab future, we must look at Baghdad. The winds of sectarianism warn of a season of unending walls. Perhaps it is too late to wage a comprehensive campaign against the epidemic of walls.

AS'AD ABUD IN SYRIA'S AL-THAWRAH

The wall is a real step to solidify and increase the sectarian hostility that has flourished in the US-made reality on the ground in Iraq. Such a humiliation for the Arabs ... what can you do? Either fight the siege or face extermination, so choose between dying as a resistance fighter or dying between a wall and the other.

MUHAMMAD KA'WSH IN JORDAN'S AL-ARAB AL-YAWM

No-one should keep silent about this new crime committed by the occupation in Baghdad, and all Iraqis must reject such a crime because turning al-Adhamiyah into a big prison means that other neighbourhoods will also turn into sectarian ghettos, with Sadr city probably being next.

A'ISHA AL-MURI IN UAE'S AL-ITTIHAD

The new US strategy has turned sectarian division from words to actual concrete on the ground.

WALID AL-NUWAYHID IN BAHRAIN'S AL-WASAT

The wall is a political scandal according to all international, moral and humanitarian standards. It is not just a part of a security project. Rather, it aims at isolating and turning neighbourhoods into sectarian ghettos.

YUSUF AL-KUWAYLIT IN SAUDI WATAN

The division in Iraq came as a reflection of the huge failure of the invading forces. Moreover, the opinion of the elected government was not even considered in the decision to build the wall.

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaux abroad.





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