Press Release
Contact Information: Hussein Ibish
July 18, 2003 - 12:00am

Washington DC, Jul. 18 -- The American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP) hosted today two members of the Palestinian Authority Negotiation Affairs Department. Stephanie Koury, legal advisor, and Fouad Hallak, technical advisor, briefed ATFP board members and a number of foreign government representatives on the impact of Israel’s ‘Wall of Separation’ on prospects for an Israel-Palestinian peace settlement. The U.S. tour of the two representatives is being conducted under the auspices of Bannerman & Associates, Inc.

The PowerPoint briefing, previously conducted for U.S. National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice during her recent West Bank visit, emphasized that the Wall and continued Israeli settlement activity are incompatible with President Bush’s vision for an independent and viable Palestinian state. “The Wall is built,” Stephanie Koury pointed out, “to consolidate Israel’s hold on Palestinian territory in order to facilitate settlement expansion.”

The two representatives identified 4 phases of Wall construction, with the first phase slated for completion by the end of the summer of 2003. This phase, approximately 80 miles in length, is built inside the internationally recognized 1967 border lines resulting in the loss of Palestinian West Bank land. “Three uncontiguous Palestinian cantons will remain on only 45% of the land once the last phase of the wall is completed,” projected Fouad Hallak.

Following the briefing ATFP President Dr. Ziad Asali called on the Bush administration to urge Israel to “immediately cease construction of the Wall and freeze all settlement activity, including ‘natural growth’.” He added: “This stark presentation serves as a call for all interested in a two-state solution to this long-standing conflict, to work together in the interest of peace.”


American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017