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Jeremy Bowen: Drive through West Bank reveals gulf between hope and reality of peace

As the rain lashed down, about a dozen saturated Israeli soldiers in full combat gear were milling around their jeeps on yet another military operation in the occupation of the West Bank that has so far lasted 56 years, with no sign of ending. They were close to the Israeli army watchtower that looms over the entrance to Beit Ummar, a small Palestinian town whose inhabitants mostly rely on agriculture to make a living. Beit Ummar, like many other towns and villages on the West Bank, has lost a lot of land to settlements and roads. The occupation, and the desire to resist it, have generated repeated violence over the years.

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