Mourners carry the body of Mohammed Bassam Amsha al-Atrash, a Palestinian who was shot dead by Israeli troops the day before after he had stabbed a border police officer, during his funeral on August 18, 2015 in Kfur Raei, a village outside the West Bank city of Jenin. Israeli security forces shot dead al-Atrash who tried to stab a border police officer near a checkpoint at the Tapuah Junction near Nablus, authorities said, in the fourth such incident in a week. AFP PHOTO / JAAFAR ASHTIYEH Image Credit: AFP

Ramallah: A member of the Israeli Knesset (parliament) and former chief of the Shin Bet security services Avi Dichter has called for the segregation of West Bank roads to ostensibly stop vehicular attacks on Jewish colonists.

Dichter, a member of the right-wing Likud party, said that separating Israeli and Palestinian drivers on the roads in the West Bank was an inevitable move.

“This is a significant issue, not only politically, but operationally; we must move towards separation,” Dichter told an Israeli radio station, reported the Times of Israel. “The policy allowing for dual-access roads, as if it was one country — like being able to travel between Israel and Nablus [in the West Bank] with your car is a very problematic reality.”

Dichter told the Israeli Knesset that his solution to a rise in “lone-wolf vehicular attacks” against Israelis was “to isolate or disengage from these areas.”

The West Bank has experienced such road closures in the past. In September 2000 Israelis closed off all the West Bank roads used by colonists to connect various West Bank-based colonies with each other and with Israeli-claimed territory inside the Green Line. As a result, Palestinians used only rough and unpaved roads to reach Palestinian cities and villages.

Arif Draghmah, a Palestinian expert in colonial activities and the Head of Al Maleh and Northern Jordan Valley areas Municipal Council, branded Dichter’s call a racist move which aims to seize more Palestinian land.

“This is a new Israeli racist policy to be added to the fascist policies Israel implements in the West Bank,” he told Gulf News.

He stressed that Israeli colonies are located between Palestinian towns and villages and road segregation “will increase the pain and suffering of the Palestinian public.”

Draghmah said that there are 14 colonies in the northern Jordan Valley areas, and that road segregation will make the lives of thousands of Palestinians in that region very difficult.

General Adnan Al Damiri, spokesman for the Ramallah-based Palestinian Security Apparatus, said in a statement that the Israelis do not have any evidence to prove that the Palestinian youths that Israeli soldiers execute in the field almost daily really do attempt to stab Israeli soldiers and colonists.

“The Israeli soldier murders, fires live bullets, investigates the killings of Palestinians and even orders the closure of any investigation under full political coverage from the Israeli government of Benjamin Netanyahu,” he said. “No other party but the Israeli soldier who investigates the killings of Palestinians and this is in itself suspicious and unacceptable.”

Al Damiri said that hardline colonists received $270 million (Dh991 million) last year from the Israeli government, which clearly indicates that those hardline colonists continued to be supported by Israeli ministers in the Netanyahu government, and lawmakers.