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Sneh challenges World Bank report

Israel’s deputy defense minister dismissed World Bank criticism of Israeli policy toward the Palestians as “one-sided.”The World Bank report, released this week, said Israel’s West Bank security fence and military crackdowns against Palestinian terrorism had effectively broken up the West Bank into 10 enclaves, stifling the Palestinian economy.Ha’aretz reported Thursday that Ephraim Sneh said the World Bank vastly overstated the number of roadblocks in the West Bank.”The World Bank report uses data of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, which is inclined to count every opening in the separation fence, checkpoints on the Green Line, and every two rocks on the road as roadblocks in the West Bank,” Sneh told Ha’aretz.In addition, Sneh noted, Israeli measures to limit Palestinian movement are necessitated by the security concerns born of ongoing Palestinian terrorism.”The World Bank is ignoring a much more basic fact: What is making the life of Palestinians in the West Bank difficult is terrorism, not Israel,” he said.Areas of the West Bank without much terrorist activity are not under closure, a sign that the Israeli measures are a response to Palestinian provocation, Sneh said.