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Tunnel vision: Highway 60 is part of a burgeoning West Bank road network that’s being used to entrench Greater Israel © Quique Kierszenbaum

The road to nowhere: Israel tarmacs over peace with the Palestinians

Israel may, for now, have backed off from the outright annexation of Palestinian land it has occupied for half a century. But it is burying any hope for a negotiated peace in concrete and tarmac

You’re driving south from Jerusalem towards Hebron, the biggest Palestinian city in the occupied West Bank, revered in both Islam and Judaism as the site of Abraham’s grave. The journey will take you along a 28km section of Highway 60, which follows the biblical “Way of the Patriarchs” from Nazareth to Beersheba. But this venerable history is less in evidence than the fact that the road is—once again—being re-developed, as it has often been over the last 35 years. 

Ahead to your left, you can make out the minarets and spires of Bethlehem. To the right, you can see bulldozers and cranes adding extra lanes to the road. Soon you will enter first one and then a second tunnel of nearly a kilometre. After that the road briefly widens before what initially looks like the toll station on an Italian autostrada. 

But as you get closer, it’s…

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