from Agence France Presse
JERUSALEM (AFP) – A grandson of Israel’s legendary right-wing prime minister Menachem Begin is a regular protester against the country’s controversial West Bank separation barrier, media reported on Thursday.
The tabloid-style Maariv newspaper published a photograph of 32-year-old Avinadav Begin and a young Palestinian facing off with Israeli soldiers in riot gear during a weekly demonstration against the barrier.
Maariv quoted liberally from websites in which the young Begin declared his desire to “blow up this wall.”
“This (barrier) will not help bring peace between Israel and Palestine because none of that exists,” the young Begin reportedly wrote.
Israel says the massive barrier, made of electric fencing, barbed wire and concrete walls, is needed to stop potential attackers from infiltrating the country and settlements in the West Bank.
The Palestinians say the project is aimed at grabbing their land and undermining the viability of their promised state.
In 2004, the International Court of Justice issued a non-binding ruling that parts of the 650-kilometre (410-mile) barrier criss-crossing the West Bank are illegal and should be torn down. Israel has vowed to complete the project.
In 1977, Menachem Begin became the first right-wing political leader to win power in Israel, ending three decades of Labour party hegemony.
A supporter of “Greater Israel,” he promoted Jewish settlement expansion on occupied Arab territory but also negotiated the 1979 peace treaty with Egypt and agreed on a full Israeli withdrawal from the Sinai peninsula.