PA unhappy with Liberman visit to Hizme

Defense Minister seeks to make life easier for Palestinian Arabs. PA Foreign Ministry, in turn, blasts his "apartheid" comments.

Ben Ariel,

Liberman visits Hizme checkpoint
Liberman visits Hizme checkpoint
Ariel Hermoni/Defense Ministry

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman on Sunday visited the Hizme checkpoint in an attempt to examine ways of making life easier for Palestinian Arabs who go through that crossing.

But the Palestinian Authority's (PA) Foreign Ministry was unhappy with the visit, blasting it on Monday and claiming it “is an enforcement of the apartheid system in the Occupied Palestinian Territories”, reported the official PA news agency WAFA.

In his tour of the Hizme checkpoint, Liberman heard the difficulties that both Jews and Arabs face in getting through it, and noted that similar problems exist with the Qalandiya checkpoint.

"The problems with the Hizme and Qalandiya crossings make life difficult for Jerusalem and Binyamin region residents as well as the Palestinians living in the area. There are clear, managerial, and infrastructural solutions, but for a long time the right things just haven't been done,” he said.

The PA ministry was unimpressed, saying Liberman tries to deceive the world by discussing “facilities for Israeli settlers and Palestinians” while neglecting what it termed “his repetitive Apartheid statements, which aim to create separate roads for illegal Israeli settlers and Palestinians on roads in the West Bank.”

The ministry also condemned Israeli policy which, it claimed, “aims to expand and take over Palestinians’ property and called on the international community to intervene and force Israel to cease its measures, which would eventually destroy the two-state solution and enforce occupation, settlements and the Apartheid system in the occupied Palestinian territories.”