Israeli West Bank barrier

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Israeli West Bank barrier
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{{pp|small=yes}}{{sprotect2}}{{pp-30-500|small=yes}}(File:Barrier route July 2011.png|thumb|The barrier route as of July 2011: {{convert|438|km|0|abbr=on}} finished, {{convert|58|km|0|abbr=on}} under construction, {{convert|212|km|0|abbr=on}} planned.)(File:Jerusalem-barrier June 2007-OCHAoPt.jpeg|thumb|The barrier in Jerusalem, 2007)File:AbuDisWall.jpg|thumb|The barrier between Abu Dis and East JerusalemEast JerusalemThe Israeli West Bank barrier or wall (for further names see here) is a separation barrier in the West Bank or along the Green Line. Israel considers it a security barrier against terrorism, while Palestinians call it a racial segregation or apartheid wallweblink J. Stewart, The Middle East Today: Political, Geographical and Cultural Perspectives, Routledge, 2013 p. 223. At a total length of {{convert|708|km}} upon completion, the border traced by the barrier is more than double the length of the Green Line, with 15% running along it or in Israel, while the remaining 85% cuts at times {{convert|18|km}} deep into the West Bank, isolating about 9% of it, leaving an estimated 25,000 Palestinians isolated from the bulk of that territory.UN OCHA (Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs), ‘Barrier Update: Special Focus’, (2011),weblink {{Webarchive|url= |date=2016-09-12 }}The barrier was built during the Second Intifada that began in September 2000, and was defended by the Israeli government as necessary to stop the wave of violence inside Israel that the uprising had brought with it.WEB,weblink Questions and Answers, 2007-04-17, February 22, 2004, Israel's Security Fence, Israel, The State of Israel, The Security Fence is being built with the sole purpose of saving the lives of the Israeli citizens who continue to be targeted by the terrorist campaign that began in 2000. The fact that over 800 men, women and children have been killed in horrific suicide bombings and other terror attacks clearly justifies the attempt to place a physical barrier in the path of terrorists. It should be noted that terrorism has been defined throughout the international community as a crime against humanity. As such, the State of Israel not only has the right but also the obligation to do everything in its power to lessen the impact and scope of terrorism on the citizens of Israel., yes,weblink" title="">weblink October 3, 2013, The Israeli government says that the barrier has been effective, as the number of suicide bombings carried out from the West Bank fell from 73 (between 2000 and July 2003 – the completion of the "first continuous segment"), to 12 (from August 2003 to the end of 2006).WEB,weblink The Anti-Terrorist Fence vs. Terrorism, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Israel), yes,weblink" title="">weblink 2004-01-10, 2013-09-18, WEB,weblink Death toll of Israeli civilians killed by Palestinians hit a low in 2006, 2007-04-16, Nissenbaum, Dion, January 10, 2007, Washington Bureau, The McClatchy Company, McClatchy Newspapers, Fewer Israeli civilians died in Palestinian attacks in 2006 than in any year since the Palestinian uprising began in 2000. Palestinian militants killed 23 Israelis and foreign visitors in 2006, down from a high of 289 in 2002 during the height of the uprising. Most significant, successful suicide bombings in Israel nearly came to a halt. Last year, only two Palestinian suicide bombers managed to sneak into Israel for attacks that killed 11 people and wounded 30 others. Israel has gone nearly nine months without a suicide bombing inside its borders, the longest period without such an attack since 2000[...] An Israeli military spokeswoman said one major factor in that success had been Israel's controversial separation barrier, a still-growing {{convert, 250, mi, km, on, flip, network of high-tech fencing, concrete walls and other obstacles that cuts through parts of the West Bank. 'The security fence was put up to stop terror, and that's what it's doing,' said Capt. Noa Meir, a spokeswoman for the Israel Defense Forces. [...] Opponents of the barrier grudgingly acknowledge that it's been effective in stopping bombers, though they complain that its route should have followed the border between Israel and the Palestinian territories known as the Green Line. [...] IDF spokeswoman Meir said Israeli military operations that disrupted militants planning attacks from the West Bank also deserved credit for the drop in Israeli fatalities.|deadurl=yes|archiveurl=|archivedate=November 20, 2008|df=}} While the barrier was initially presented as a temporary security measure in a time of heightened tensions, it has since been rapidly associated with a future political border between Israel and Palestine.JOURNAL, Busbridge, Rachel, The wall has feet but so do we: Palestinian workers in Israel and the ‘separation’ wall, British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, 14 June 2016, 1–18, 10.1080/13530194.2016.1194187, Barrier opponents claim it seeks to annex Palestinian land under the guise of securityWEB,weblink Under the Guise of Security: Routing the Separation Barrier to Enable Israeli Settlement Expansion in the West Bank, 2007-04-16, December 2005, Publications, B'Tselem, The fact that the Separation Barrier cuts into the West Bank was and remains the main cause of human rights violations of Palestinians living near the Barrier. Israel contends that the Barrier's route is based solely on security considerations. This report disputes that contention and proves that one of the primary reasons for choosing the route of many sections of the Barrier was to place certain areas intended for settlement expansion on the "Israeli" side of the Barrier. In some of the cases, for all intents and purposes the expansion constituted the establishment of a new settlement., yes,weblink" title="">weblink 2007-04-05, and undermines peace negotiations by unilaterally establishing new borders.WEB,weblink Set in stone, The Guardian, Geraldine Bedell, 14 June 2003, London, 2013-09-17, The Palestinian Authority, meanwhile, preoccupied with the road map and its own internal politics, 'has neglected the wall,' according to Jamal Juma. Yet the wall is crucial to the road map. At the very least, it is an attempt to preempt negotiations with a land grab that establishes new borders (and what the road map calls 'facts on the ground' that must be heeded). Arguably it is more devious: an attempt to undermine negotiations altogether – because what Palestinian Authority could sign up to the fragmented 'state' the wall will create?, Opponents object to a route that in some places substantially deviates eastward from the Green Line, severely restricts the travel of many Palestinians and impairs their ability to commute to work within the West BankBOOK, Barahona, Ana, Bearing Witness – Eight weeks in Palestine, Metete, London, 978-1-908099-02-0, 2013, 42, or to Israel.WEB,weblink Set in stone, The Guardian, Geraldine Bedell, 14 June 2003, London, 2013-09-17, The wall shuts out the world beyond, creating an eerie silence and an absence of landscape. Eventually, it will encircle the town, but already, there is only one gate in and out of Qalquilya. Moving to and from the town is a draining process of waiting in the sunshine while papers are taken away and thought about. You can't take a car from one side to the other. When you finally get through, you have to trudge through a no-man's-land to pick up a bus or taxi. ... Until the start of the current round of violence (the second intifada, in September 2000), 85,000 Israelis and Palestinians used to pour into Qalquilya every week to visit the shops and markets. Goods were cheaper than in Israel. No one comes any more, partly out of fear, partly because it's so hard to get in or out. And now the barrier threatens to cut the town off from 80 per cent of its agricultural land and 19 of its wells.…Before the construction started, half of Qalquilya's income came from agriculture. Now, 4,000 people – 10 per cent of the population – have left. An additional 2,200 heads of household have gone to find work elsewhere, leaving their families behind. ... Unemployment is now 69 per cent. With its bottleneck entrance so often corked, the town is coming close to economic strangulation. More than 600 businesses have closed and many residents have been unable to pay their municipal taxes, with the result that the Qalquilya municipality owes about 3.5 m shekels (£490,000) to the Israeli Electric Company, which is threatening to cut off the city's supply. ... The story of overcrowding and economic peril will be repeated in other Palestinian cities, according to Jamal Juma, co-ordinator of the Palestinian Environmental Network: 'In 10 years, there will be no room to expand. Forced off the land, Palestinians will be clustered into already heavily populated urban areas; with no alternative sources of income, they will be a source of cheap labour for Israeli factories.', The International Court of Justice issued an advisory opinion stating that the barrier is a violation of international law."International Court of Justice finds Israeli barrier in Palestinian territory is illegal". UN News Centre. United Nations. 9 July 2004."weblink" title="">Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory". International Court of Justice. 9 July 2004. Archived from the original on 2 September 2004. In 2003, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution that stated the wall contradicts international law and should be removed; the vote was 144–4 with 12 abstentions.Semple, Kirk (22 October 2003). "U.N. Resolution Condemns Israeli Barrier". The New York Times.


File:Bethlehem Wall Graffiti - Ich bin ein Berliner.jpg|thumb|Graffiti on the road to Bethlehem in the West Bank stating "Ich bin ein BerlinerIch bin ein BerlinerIn Hebrew, descriptions include: separation fence ({{Audio|He-Gader_Hahafrada.ogg|גדר ההפרדה}}, Geder HaHafrada); separation wall (, kHomat HaHafrada) and security fence (גדר הביטחון, Geder HaBitakhon).Robert Zelnick, Israel's Unilateralism: Beyond Gaza, Hoover Press, 2006, p 30-31, {{ISBN|0817947736}}, 9780817947736Fiona de Londras, Detention in the 'War on Terror': Can Human Rights Fight Back?, Cambridge University Press, 2011, pp. 177–78, " {{ISBN|1139500031}}, {{ISBN|9781139500036}}In Arabic, it is called wall of apartheid {{Audio|ArWestBankBarrier.ogg|جدار الفصل العنصري}}, jidar al-fasl al-'unsuri.In English, the BBC's style guide uses the terms barrier (sometimes separation barrier or West Bank barrier)NEWS, 12 October 2006,weblink Israel and the Palestinians: Key terms, BBC News, 2008-03-15, BBC journalists should try to avoid using terminology favoured by one side or another in any dispute. The BBC uses the terms "barrier", "separation barrier" or "West Bank barrier" as acceptable generic descriptions to avoid the political connotations of "security fence" (preferred by the Israeli government) or "apartheid wall" (preferred by Palestinians).,weblink" title="">weblink March 7, 2008, as do The Economistweblink PBweblink and the New York Timesweblink The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs uses the phrase security fence in Englishweblink The International Court of Justice has used the term wall explaining "the other expressions sometimes employed are no more accurate if understood in the physical sense." It is also referred to as the Apartheid Wall or Apartheid Fence in a derogatory manner.The Road Map to Nowhere: Israel/Palestine Since 2003, Tanya Reinhart (2006)WEB,weblink The Plot of the Eastern Segregation Wall,, 16 July 2005, 2013-09-17,weblink" title="">weblink 22 May 2013, yes, dmy-all, JOURNAL, Alatout, Samer, Towards a bio-territorial conception of power: Territory, population, and environmental narratives in Palestine and Israel, Political Geography (journal), Political Geography, 25, 6, 601–21, Elsevier, 10.1016/j.polgeo.2006.03.008, August 2006,weblink harv, ., Seam zone () refers to the land between the 1949 Armistice Agreement Line and the fence.


File:BarbedWireFence1.jpg|thumb|right|Route 443 near Giv'at Ze'evGiv'at Ze'evAbout 90–95% of the barrier will be constructed as a "multi-layered fence system"BOOK, Barahona, Ana, Bearing Witness - Eight weeks in Palestine, Metete, London, 978-1-908099-02-0, 2013, 47, with the IDF's preferred design having three fences, pyramid-shaped stacks of barbed wire on the two outer fences, a lighter-weight fence with intrusion detection equipment in the middle, an anti-vehicle ditch, patrol roads on both sides, and a smooth strip of sand for "intrusion tracking".WEB,weblink Operational Concept, Ministry of Defense (Israel), x, Israel, January 31, 2007, 2013-09-18, The Security Fence is a multi layered composite obstacle {{sic, comprised, y, of, several elements: * A ditch and a pyramid shaped stack of six coils of barbed wire on the eastern side of the structure, barbed wire only on the western side. * A path enabling the patrol of IDF forces on both sides of the structure. * An intrusion- detection fence, in the center, with sensors to warn of any incursion. * Smoothed strip of sand that runs parallel to the fence, to detect footprints.|deadurl=yes|archiveurl=|archivedate=September 27, 2013|df=}}The barrier contains an on-average {{convert|60|m|adj=on}} wide exclusion area.WEB,weblink Israel High Court Ruling Docket H.C.J. 7957/04: International Legality of the Security Fence and Sections near Alfei Menashe, 2007-04-16, September 15, 2005, Supreme Court of Israel, . The width of some sections is larger (up to {{convert|100|m}}) due to topographic conditions.Behind the barrier: Human Rights Violations as a Result of Israel's Separation Barrier, pp. 5–8. Yehezkel Lein, B'Tselem, March 2003. Here available. p. 8: "The average width of the barrier complex is sixty meters. Due to topographic constraints, a narrower barrier will be erected in some areas and will not include all of the elements that support the electronic fence. However, as the state indicated to the High Court of Justice, "in certain cases, the barrier will reach a width of one hundred meters due to the topographic conditions." The width of some sections (about 6% of the barrier) is {{convert|3|m}} where the barrier is constructed as a concrete wall up to {{convert|8|m}} high. These sections are narrower, require less land, and provide more protection against snipers. Wall construction is more common in urban settings, e.g., Qalqilyah and Jerusalem, and in areas where people have been killed by snipers, e.g., the Trans-Israel Highway.WEB,weblink Operational Concept, Ministry of Defense (Israel), x, Israel, January 31, 2007, 2013-09-18, This particular design is used in a minority of cases – a total of {{convert, 8, km, 0, on, in the initial stages of the project (4%). Its main purpose is to prevent sniper fire into Israel and on major highways and roads. In this case, a solid concrete wall resembling a highway sound barrier often used in the US and Europe is erected. This design is used mainly along the new Trans-Israel Highway, in Bat Hefer and Matan, and in densely populated urban areas such as Jerusalem. Once the whole project is completed, the portion of the concrete sections will be 6%, about {{convert|30|km}}.|deadurl=yes|archiveurl=|archivedate=September 27, 2013|df=}}


File:West Bank Fence South Hebron.JPG|thumb|Israeli West Bank barrier – North of MeitarMeitar{{See also|1949 Armistice Agreements#Cease-fire line vs. permanent border}}File:Pesah 213.jpg|thumb|The barrier between northern West Bank and the Gilboa ]]The barrier runs partly along or near the 1949 Jordanian–Israeli armistice line ("Green Line") and partly through the West Bank diverging eastward from the armistice line by up to {{convert|20|km|0|abbr=on}} to include on the western side several of the areas with concentrations of highly populated Israeli settlements, such as East Jerusalem, the Ariel Bloc (Ariel, Karnei Shomron, Kedumim, Immanuel etc.)weblink Gush Etzion, Givat Ze'ev, Oranit, and Maale Adumim.WEB,weblink Palestinians: Israel hands out land confiscation notices, CNN, November 7, 2003, 2013-09-17, The West Bank barrier generally runs close to the pre-1967 Mideast war border – the so-called Green Line – but dips into the West Bank to include some Jewish settlements. Israel says a new section will extend deep into the West Bank, surrounding several West Bank towns., The barrier nearly encircles some Palestinian towns, about 20% follows the armistice line,Preliminary Analysis of the Humanitarian Implications of February 2005 Barrier Projections {{webarchive|url= |date=2013-11-11 }}. OCHAoPt, 8 March 2005 and a projected {{convert|191000|acres|ha|order=flip|abbr=on}}, or about 13.5 percent, of the West Bank area (including East-Jerusalem) is on the west side of the wall.WEB,weblink United Nations, Office for the coordination of humanitarian affairs, Preliminary analysis reveals that the planned route to complete the Barrier will have severe humanitarian consequences for hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in the West Bank, January 2004, 2014-09-08, West Bank land affected About {{convert, 191000, acre, ha, flip, – or about 13.5 percent – of West Bank land (excluding East Jerusalem) will lie between the Barrier and the Green Line, according to the Israeli Government projections. (See map attached). This will include {{convert|39000|acre|ha|order=flip}} enclosed in a series of enclaves and {{convert|152000|acre|ha|order=flip}} in closed areas between the Green Line and the Barrier.|archive-url=|archive-date=2014-01-16|dead-url=yes|df=}} According to a study of the April 2006 route by the Israeli human rights organization B'Tselem, 8.5% of the West Bank area will after completion be on the Israeli side of the barrier, and 3.4% partly or completely surrounded on the eastern side.Separation Barrier – Statistics. B'Tselem, update 16 July 2012 Some 27,520 to 31,000 Palestinians will be captured on the Israeli side.Barrier Route Projections – Update 5 {{webarchive|url= |date=2015-07-17 }}. OCHAoPt, July 2006 Another 124,000, on the other hand, will effectively be controlled and isolated. Some 230,000 Palestinians in Jerusalem will be placed on the West Bank side. Most of the barrier{{vague|date=September 2014}} was built at the northern and western edges of the West Bank, mostly beyond the Green Line and created 9 enclaves, which enclosed {{convert|39000|acres|0|abbr=on|order=flip}}. An additional barrier, circa 10 km long, run south of Ramallah.Barrier Route Projections – Update 2: Preliminary Analysis {{Webarchive|url= |date=2014-01-16 }}. OCHAoPt, January 2004Israel states that the topography does not permit putting the barrier along the Green Line in some places because hills or tall buildings on the Palestinian side would make the barrier ineffective against terrorism.Map of Israel Security Barrier ("Wall")- Current Status (2006) MidEastWeb, June 2006 The International Court of Justice states that in such cases it is only legal to build the barrier inside Israel.The barrier route has been challenged in court and changed several times. Argument presented to the court has reiterated that the cease-fire line of 1949 was negotiated "without prejudice to future territorial settlements or boundary lines" (Art. VI.9).Jordanian-Israeli General Armistice Agreement, April 3, 1949 {{webarchive|url= |date=June 10, 2005 }}. The Avalon Project


{{See also|#Detailed timeline}}In 1992, the idea of creating a physical barrier separating the Israeli and Palestinian populations was proposed by then-prime minister Yitzhak Rabin. In 1994, a first barrier was constructed along the Green Line between Bat Hefer and Tulkarm.In 1995, the Shahal commission was established to discuss how to implement a separation barrier. In 2000, Prime Minister Ehud Barak approved financing of a {{convert|74|km|0|abbr=on}} fence between the Wadi Ara region and Latrun. On 23 June 2002, the Ariel Sharon Government definitely approved the plan in principleUN Division for Palestinian Rights, Monthly media monitoring review, December 2000 {{webarchive|url= |date=2013-11-04 }}. See par. 25 and work at the barrier began.By 2003, {{convert|180|km|0|abbr=on}} had been completed and in 2004, Israel started the southern part of the barrier. By 2006, {{convert|362|km|1|abbr=on}} of the barrier had been completed, {{convert|88|km|1|abbr=on}} was under construction and {{convert|253|km|1|abbr=on}} had not yet been started. By 2012, {{convert|440|km|1|abbr=on}} (62%) of the barrier had been completed, {{convert|57|km|1|abbr=on}} (8%) was under construction and {{convert|212|km|1|abbr=on}} (30%) had not yet been started,WEB,weblink The Separation Barrier - Statistics, B'Tselem, 1 January 2011, 2013-09-18, with little progress made by 2014. In September, 2014, the government voted to not reauthorize the barrier in the Gush Etzion area.West Bank Battir barrier off the table for now – Retrieved 21 September 2014


{{Israel–Palestinian peace process |Secondary}}Suicide bombings have decreased since the construction of the barrier.WEB,weblink Is the fence effective?, 2007-04-20, February 22, 2004, Israel's Security Fence: Questions and Answers, Israel, The State of Israel, Members of Palestinian terror infrastructure caught and questioned disclosed the reality that the existence of the security fence in the Samaria area forces them to find other means to perform terror attacks because their previous entry to Israel is blocked., yes,weblink" title="">weblink October 3, 2013, Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, Hamas, and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad have been less able to conduct attacks in Israel, which have decreased in areas where the barrier has been completed.Israel's Security Fence (Jewish Virtual Library)The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Israel Security Agency report that in 2002, there were 452 fatalities from terrorist attacks. Before the completion of the first continuous segment (July 2003) from the beginning of the Second Intifada, 73 Palestinian suicide bombings were carried out from the West Bank, killing 293 Israelis and injuring over 1,900. After the completion of the first continuous segment through the end of 2006, there were only 12 attacks based in the West Bank, killing 64 people and wounding 445. Terrorist attacks declined in 2007 and 2008WEB,weblink Anti-Israeli Terrorism in 2007 and its Trends in 2008: Overview, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Israel), 2008-06-05, 2013-09-18, In Judea and Samaria the security forces maintain counterterrorist activity pressure which includes the detention of wanted terrorists, exposing weapons and killing the terrorist operatives who resisted detention. Successful counterterrorist activities and finishing many sections of the security fence led to a continued decrease in suicide bombing terrorism., to 9 in 2010.WEB,weblink pdf, 2010 Annual Summary – Data and Trends in Terrorism, 2011, Shin Bet, 4, 2013-09-18, The Ministry of Foreign Affairs predicts that completion of the barrier will continue to prevent terrorist attacksIsraeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs since "[a]n absolute halt in terrorist activities has been noticed in the West Bank areas where the fence has been constructed."WEB,weblink Stats Show Anti-Terrorism Fence Highly Effective, National Christian Leadership Conference for Israel: Terrorism News, 24 February 2006, yes,weblink" title="">weblink 2008-11-21, 2013-09-18, Israeli officials (including the head of the Shin Bet) quoted in the newspaper Maariv have said that in the areas where the barrier was complete, the number of hostile infiltrations has decreased to almost zero. Maariv also stated that Palestinian militants, including a senior member of Islamic Jihad, had confirmed that the barrier made it much harder to conduct attacks inside Israel. Since the completion of the fence in the area of Tulkarm and Qalqilyah in June 2003, there have been no successful attacks from those areas. All attacks were intercepted or the suicide bombers detonated prematurely. In a March 23, 2008 interview, Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader Ramadan Shalah complained to the Qatari newspaper Al-Sharq that the separation barrier "limits the ability of the resistance to arrive deep within [Israeli territory] to carry out suicide bombing attacks, but the resistance has not surrendered or become helpless, and is looking for other ways to cope with the requirements of every stage" of the intifada.Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center at the Israel Intelligence Heritage & Commemoration Center (IICC)Other factors are also cited as causes for the decline. According to Haaretz, a 2006 report by the Shin Beit concluded that "[t]he fence does make it harder for them [terrorists]" but that attacks in 2005 decreased due to increased pursuing of Palestinian militants by the Israeli army and intelligence organizations, Hamas's increased political activity, and a truce among Palestinian militant groups in the Palestinian Territories. Haaretz reported, "[t]he security fence is no longer mentioned as the major factor in preventing suicide bombings, mainly because the terrorists have found ways to bypass it."WEB,weblink Shin Bet: Palestinian truce main cause for reduced terror, Haaretz, 2006, Amos Hrel, 2007-08-11, Former Israeli Secretary of Defence Moshe Arens says that the reduction in Palestinian violence is largely due to the IDF's entry into the West Bank in 2002.Moshe Arens: The fence, revisited {{webarchive|url= |date=2008-10-31 }} Haaretz October 28, 2008.

Effects on Palestinians

The barrier has many effects on Palestinians including reduced freedoms, reduction of the number of Israel Defense Forces checkpoints and road closures, loss of land, increased difficulty in accessing medical and educational services in Israel,JOURNAL, 1049-023X, 22, 4, 267–68, Stratton, Samuel, Editorial comments – "West Bank barrier decreases access to schools and health services", Prehospital and Disaster Medicine: the Official Journal of the National Association of EMS Physicians and the World Association for Emergency and Disaster Medicine in Association with the Acute Care Foundation, 2010-05-11, August 2007,weblink yes,weblink" title="">weblink 2010-06-10, JOURNAL, 1049-023X, 22, 4, 263–66, Qato, Dima, Shannon Doocy, Deborah Tsuchida, P Gregg Greenough, Gilbert Burnham, West Bank barrier decreases access to schools and health services, Prehospital and Disaster Medicine: the Official Journal of the National Association of EMS Physicians and the World Association for Emergency and Disaster Medicine in Association with the Acute Care Foundation, 2010-05-11, August 2007,weblink yes,weblink" title="">weblink 2012-03-10, restricted access to water sources, and economic effects.BOOK, Barahona, Ana, Bearing Witness – Eight weeks in Palestine, Metete, London, 978-1-908099-02-0, 2013,

Reduced freedoms

In a 2005 report, the United Nations stated that:, Update No. 5, March 2005. OCHAoPt. Original PDF {{webarchive|url= |date=2011-03-05 }} (1.9 MB). See Chap. 1, Findings and Overview}}An often-quoted example of the effects of the barrier is the Palestinian town of Qalqilyah, a city of around 45,000, which is surrounded almost on all sides by the barrier. One 8 meter-high concrete section of this wall follows the Green Line between the city and the nearby Trans-Israel Highway. According to the BBC, this section, referred to as an "anti-sniper wall," is intended to prevent gun attacks against Israeli motorists on the Trans-Israel Highway.NEWS, 15 September 2005,weblink Q&A: What is the West Bank barrier?, BBC News, 2008-03-15, The solid section around the Palestinian town of Qalqilya is conceived as a "sniper wall" to prevent gun attacks against Israeli motorists on the nearby Trans-Israel Highway., The city is accessible through a military checkpoint on the main road from the east, and an underground tunnel built in September 2004 on the south side connects Qalqilyah with the adjacent village of Habla. In 2005, the Israeli Supreme Court ordered the government to change the route of the barrier in this area to ease movement of Palestinians between Qalqilyah and five surrounding villages. In the same ruling, the court rejected the arguments that the fence must be built only on the Green Line. The ruling cited the topography of the terrain, security considerations, and sections 43 and 52 of The Hague Regulations 1907 and Article 53 of the Fourth Geneva Convention as reasons for this rejection.(File:Palestinian children and Israeli wall.jpg|thumb|Palestinian children running towards the barrier, August 2004)In early October 2003, the IDF OC Central Command declared the area between the separation barrier in the northern section of the West Bank (Stage 1) and the Green Line a closed military area for an indefinite period. New directives stated that every Palestinian over the age of twelve living in the enclaves created in the closed area have to obtain a "permanent resident permit" from the Civil Administration to enable them to continue to live in their homes, approximately 27,250 people in all. Other residents of the West Bank have to obtain special permits to enter the area.

Fewer checkpoints and roadblocks

In June 2004, The Washington TimesWashington Times – Mideast security barrier working reported that the reduced Israeli military incursions in Jenin have prompted efforts to rebuild damaged streets and buildings and a gradual return to a semblance of normality, and in a letterWEB,weblink Letter dated 25 October 2004 from the Permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General, 25 October 2004, Permanent Mission of Israel to the United Nations,weblink" title="">weblink 30 November 2004, 24 July 2016, dated October 25, 2004, from the Israeli mission to Kofi Annan, Israel's government pointed out that a number of restrictions east of the barrier have been lifted as a result of it, including a reduction in checkpoints from 71 to 47 and roadblocks from 197 to 111. The Jerusalem Post reports that, for some Palestinians who are Israeli citizens living in the Israeli Arab town of Umm el-Fahm (population 42,000) near Jenin, the barrier has "significantly improved their lives" because, on one hand, it prevents would-be thieves or terrorists from coming to their town and, on the other hand, has increased the flow of customers from other parts of Israel who would normally have patronised Palestinian business in the West Bank, resulting in an economic boom. The report states that the downsides are that the barrier has divided families in half and "damaged Israeli Arabs' solidarity with the Palestinians living on the other side of the Green Line".Variables.theArticle:headline | Jerusalem Post {{dead link|date=July 2016}}A UN report released in August 2005 observed that the existence of the barrier "replaced the need for closures: movement within the northern West Bank, for example, is less restrictive where the Barrier has been constructed. Physical obstacles have also been removed in Ramallah and al-Bireh Governorate and Jerusalem Governorate where the Barrier is under construction." The report says that more freedom of movement in rural areas may ease Palestinian access to hospitals and schools, but also says that restrictions on movement between urban population centers have not significantly changed.WEB,weblink pdf, Special Focus: Closure Count and Analysis, Humanitarian Update, August 2005, yes,weblink" title="">weblink 2005-09-09, 2013-09-17,

Loss of land

{{See also|Seam Zone|House demolition in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict}}Parts of the barrier are built on land seized from Palestinians,WEB,weblink Palestinians: Israel hands out land confiscation notices, CNN, November 7, 2003, 2013-09-17, or between Palestinians and their landsBOOK, Barahona, Ana, Bearing Witness – Eight weeks in Palestine, Metete, London, 978-1-908099-02-0, 2013, 43, In a 2009 report, the UN said that the most recent barrier route allocates more segments to be built on the Green Line itself compared to previous draft routes of the barrier. However, in its current route the barrier is annexing 9.5% of the total area of the West Bank to the Israeli side of the barrier.WEB,weblink OCHA oPt Barrier Report July 2009, 2009-11-22, yes,weblink" title="">weblink 2009-10-13, In early 2003, 63 shops straddling the Green Line were demolished by the IDF during construction of the wall in the village of Nazlat Issa.WEB, March 2004,weblink PDF, The Impact of Israel's Separation Barrier on Affected West Bank Communities, Humanitarian Emergency Policy Group (HEPG), 2008-03-15, HEPG, In preparation of the new route of the Barrier in Nazlat Isa, the IDF demolished more than 120 shops during August 2003. A second demolition of 82 shops was completed by the IDF in January 2003. Storeowners were given as little as 30 minutes to evacuate their premises before the demolitions started. Apart from Tulkarm town, Nazlat Isa was the main commercial centre for the Tulkarm area and was heavily dependent on commerce with Israel., yes,weblink" title="">weblink 2008-02-28, NEWS, 2003-01-22,weblink Israel Destroys Arabs´ Shops in West Bank, New York Times, 2008-03-15, James Bennet, Jan. 21 – The Israeli Army used bulldozers to flatten dozens of shops today in one of the few thriving Palestinian commercial centers near the West Bank boundary, saying that the store owners lacked permits., In August 2003, an additional 115 shops and stalls (an important source of income for several communities) and five to seven homes there were also demolished.MIFTAH-Bad Fences Make Bad Neighbors – Part V: Focus on ZaytaWEB,weblink Palestine Fact Sheets, The Palestine Monitor, yes,weblink" title="">weblink 2004-04-17, 2013-09-17, According to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), 15 communities were to be directly affected, numbering about 138,593 Palestinians, including 13,450 refugee families, or 67,250 people. In addition to loss of land, in the city of Qalqilyah one-third of the city's water wells lie on the other side of the barrier. The Israeli Supreme Court says the Israeli government's rejection of accusations of a de facto annexation of these wells, stating that "the construction of the fence does not affect the implementation of the water agreements determined in the (interim) agreement".The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) estimates that in the north of the West Bank about 80 per cent of Palestinians who own land on the other side of the barrier have not received permits from the Israeli authorities, and hence cannot cultivate their fields.WEB,weblink pdf, Economic and Social Repercussions of the Israeli Occupation. Facts and Figures, Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), October 2008, 2013-09-17, Israel has built a barrier in the Jordan Valley near the Jordanian border. A plan to build another barrier between the West Bank and the Jordan valley was abandoned because of international condemnation after the 2004 International Court ruling, instead instituting a restrictive permit regime for Palestinians.Israel has de facto annexed the Jordan Valley, B'tselem, February 13, 2006. However, it has changed the route to allow settlements to annex parcels of land.Akiva Eldar, Israel effectively annexes Palestinian land near Jordan Valley, Haaretz, November 18, 2011. The existing barrier cuts off access to the Jordan River for Palestinian farmers in the West Bank.Ferry Biedermann, Mideast: Environment Too Encounters a Barrier, Inter Press Service, November 25, 2004. Israeli settlement councils already have de facto control of 86 percent of the Jordan Valley and the Dead SeaBeyond the E-1 Israeli settlement, Ma'an News Agency, March 3, 2013. as the settler population steadily grows there.EU on verge of abandoning hope for a viable Palestinian state, The Belfast Telegraph, January 12, 2012. In 2013, Ehud Barak, Israeli Defense Minister at the time, proposed that Israel should consider unilateral disengagement from the West Bank and the dismantling of settlements beyond the separation barrier, but maintain a military presence in the Jordan Valley along the West Bank-Jordan border.Barak: consider unilateral separation from West Bank The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, March 4, 2013.

Health and medical services

Médecins du Monde, the Palestinian Red Crescent Society and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel have stated that the barrier "harms West Bank health".NEWS, 15 February 2005,weblink Barrier 'harms West Bank health', BBC News, 2008-03-17, Upon completion of the construction, the organizations predict, the barrier would prevent over 130,000 Palestinian children from being immunised, and deny more than 100,000 pregnant women (out of which 17,640 are high risk pregnancies) access to healthcare in Israel. In addition, almost a third of West Bank villages will suffer from lack of access to healthcare. After completion, many residents may lose complete access to emergency care at night. In towns near Jerusalem (Abu Dis and al-Eizariya), for example, average time for an ambulance to travel to the nearest hospital has increased from 10 minutes to over 110 minutes.WEB, 19 February 2005,weblink Barrier in West Bank threatens residents' health care, says report, BMJ Publishing Group Ltd., 2008-03-17, Deborah Cohen, In Abu Dis and Aizaria, two Palestinian towns where the barrier has already been completed, the average time for an ambulance to travel to the nearest hospitals in Jerusalem has increased from about 10 minutes to over one hour and 50 minutes, according to the report. Mr Garrigue says that once the barrier is completed this problem will affect many more villages., A report from Physicians for Human Rights-Israel states that the barrier imposes "almost-total separation" on the hospitals from the population they are supposed to serve.WEB, October 20, 2005,weblink A Wall in the Heart – The Separation Barrier and its Impact on the Right to Health and on Palestinian Hospitals in East Jerusalem, Word DOC, Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, 2008-03-17, Ibrahim Habib,weblink" title="">weblink February 28, 2008, The report also said that patients from the West Bank visiting Jerusalem's Palestinian clinics declined by half from 2002 to 2003.

Economic changes

{{see also|Economy of Palestine}}In 2013, the World Bank cited estimates of costs to the West Bank economy attributable to "barriers" combined with "checkpoints and movement permits" of USD $185m and $229m.Report No. AUS2922, West Bank and Gaza: Area C and the Future of the Palestinian Economy, October 2, 2013; Page 30;weblink Foreign Affairs contributor David Makovsky estimated the number of West Bank Palestinians who lived on the Israeli side in 2004 as "fewer than one percent" but noted that a larger number living in enclaves like Qalqiliya adjacent to the fence were also adversely affected.Id. How to Build a Fence at the Wayback Machine (archived February 19, 2006), pp. 50–64. David Makovsky, Foreign Affairs, volume 83, issue 2, March/April 2004. The Israeli human rights organisation B'Tselem says that "thousands of Palestinians have difficulty going to their fields and marketing their produce in other areas of the West Bank. Farming is a primary source of income in the Palestinian communities situated along the Barrier's route, an area that constitutes one of the most fertile areas in the West Bank. The harm to the farming sector is liable to have drastic economic effects on the residents – whose economic situation is already very difficult – and drive many families into poverty."WEB, 2007,weblink Separation Barrier, B'Tselem, 2008-03-17, B'Tselem, The harm to the farming sector is liable to have drastic economic effects on the residents – whose economic situation is already very difficult – and drive many families into poverty., NEWS, 21 March 2006,weblink Israel barrier 'hurting farmers', BBC News, 2008-03-17, A UN report into the humanitarian impact of Israel's West Bank barrier says it has caused widespread losses to Palestinian farmers.,


United Nations Security Council

In October 2003, a United Nations resolution to declare the barrier illegal where it deviates from the Green Line and should be torn down was vetoed by the US in the United Nations Security Council.WEB, U.S. vetoes U.N. resolution on Israeli wall, St. Petersburg Times, October 15, 2003, 2007-05-21,weblink On May 19, 2004, the United Nations passed Security Council Resolution 1544 reiterating the obligation of Israel, the occupying Power, to abide scrupulously by its legal obligations and responsibilities under the Fourth Geneva Convention, and called on Israel to address its security needs within the boundaries of international law. In a special emergency session of the General Assembly, the United Nations asked the International Court of Justice [ICJ] to evaluate the legal status of the barrier. Israel chose not to accept ICJ jurisdiction nor make oral statements, and instead submitted a 246 page written statement containing the views of the Government of Israel on Jurisdiction and Propriety to the Court.Written Statement of the Government of Israel on Jurisdiction and Propriety {{webarchive|url= |date=2011-03-05 }}

International Court of Justice

In a 2004 advisory opinion by the International Court of Justice, "Israel cannot rely on a right of self-defence or on a state of necessity in order to preclude the wrongfulness of the construction of the wall". The Court asserted that "the construction of the wall, and its associated régime, are contrary to international law."WEB,weblink Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory: Advisory Opinion, 2007-04-16, July 9, 2004, Cases, International Court of Justice,weblink" title="">weblink March 30, 2007, yes, NEWS,weblink U.N. court rules West Bank barrier illegal, 2007-04-16, July 9, 2004, CNN, The International Court of Justice has said the barrier Israel is building to seal off the West Bank violates international law because it infringes on the rights of Palestinians. In an advisory opinion issued Friday in The Hague, the U.N. court urged the Israelis to remove it from occupied land. The nonbinding opinion also found that Israel was obligated to return confiscated land or make reparations for any destruction or damage to homes, businesses and farms caused by the barrier's construction., So in the July 9, 2004 advisory opinion the ICJ advised that the barrier is a violation of international law, that it should be removed, that Arab residents should be compensated for any damage done, and that other states take action to obtain Israel's compliance with the Fourth Geneva Convention. The ICJ said that an occupying power cannot claim that the lawful inhabitants of the occupied territory constitute a "foreign" threat for the purposes of Article 51 of the UN Charter. It also explained that necessity may constitute a circumstance precluding wrongfulness under certain very limited circumstances, but that Article 25 of the International Law Commission's Articles on Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts (ARSIWA) bars a defense of necessity if the State has contributed to the situation of necessity. The Court cited illegal interference by the government of Israel with the Palestinian's national right to self-determination; and land confiscations, house demolitions, the creation of enclaves, and restrictions on movement and access to water, food, education, health care, work, and an adequate standard of living in violation of Israel's obligations under international law. The Court also said that Israeli settlements had been established and that Palestinians had been displaced in violation of Article 49, paragraph 6, of the Fourth Geneva Convention.International Court of Justice Advisory Opinion, "Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory", paragraphs 120–137 and 163 WEB,weblink Archived copy, 2010-07-06, yes,weblink" title="">weblink 2010-07-06, ; English version On request of the ICJ, Palestine submitted a copious statement.Permanent Observer of Palestine, 30 January 2004, Written statement submitted by Palestine The UN Fact Finding Mission and several UN Rapporteurs subsequently said that in the movement and access policy there has been a violation of the right not to be discriminated against on the basis of race or national origin.See the report of The UN Fact Finding Mission on Gaza, A/HRC/12/48, 25 September 2009, paragraph 1548Israeli supporters of the barrier stood in the plaza near the courthouse, holding the portraits of 927 terror victims. The organization Christians for Israel helped bring the No. 19 bus, on which eleven civilians were killed, to the Hague.BOOK,weblink A New Shoah: The Untold Story of Israel's Victims of Terrorism, Encounter Books, Giulio Meotti, 2010, 9781594034770, 2013-09-18,


In April 2003, B'Tselem stated that "Israel has made cynical use of security claims to justify grave human rights violations in the Occupied Territories...Among other things the determination of the route of the barrier was based on political considerations, the attempt to leave the settlements to the west of the barrier, and protection of access routes for religious sites - none of which are at all related to military considerations. This situation is likely to render the entire separation barrier project illegal according to international law."Behind The Barrier: Human Rights Violations Resulting from Israel's Construction of the Separation Barrier. B'Tselem, 13 April 2003On June 30, 2004, the Supreme Court of Israel ruled that a portion of the barrier west of Jerusalem violated the rights of Palestinians, and ordered {{convert|30|km|0|abbr=on}} of existing and planned barrier to be rerouted. However, it did rule that the barrier is legal in principle and accepted the Israeli government's assertion that it is a security measure.On September 15, 2005, the Supreme Court of Israel ordered the Israeli government to alter the route of the barrier to ensure that negative impacts on Palestinians would be minimized and proportional.HCJ 2056/04, 30 June 2004; B'Tselem, 16 September 2005 High Court in precedent-making decision: Dismantle section of the Separation Barrier;HCJ 7957/04, 15 September 2005

Opinions of the barrier

United Nations

{{See also|International law and the Arab–Israeli conflict}}In December 2003, Resolution ES-10/14 was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in an emergency special session.WEB,weblink ES-10/14. Illegal Israeli actions in Occupied East Jerusalem and the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, 2003-12-12, United Nations, 2010-04-08, yes,weblink" title="">weblink 2012-05-25, 90 states voted for, 8 against, 74 abstained. The resolution included a request to the International Court of Justice to urgently render an advisory opinion on the following question. "What are the legal consequences arising from the construction of the wall being built by Israel, the occupying Power, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, as described in the report of the Secretary-General, considering the rules and principles of international law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, and relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions?" The court concluded that the barrier violated international law.Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory {{webarchive|url= |date=2010-07-06 }}, International Court of Justice Advisory Opinion, July 9, 2004. On 20 July 2004, the UN General Assembly accepted Resolution ES-10/15 condemning the barrier with 150 countries voting for the resolution and 10 abstaining.WEB,weblink Resolution ES-10/15. Advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice on the Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, United Nations News Centre, A/RES/ES-10/15, 2 August 2004, 2013-09-17, yes,weblink" title="">weblink 20 September 2013, WEB,weblink UN Assembly votes overwhelmingly to demand Israel comply with ICJ ruling, United Nations News Centre, 20 July 2004, 2013-09-17, 6 countries voted against: Israel, the US, Australia, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands and Palau. The US and Israel rejected both the verdict and the resolution.WEB, UN Assembly votes overwhelmingly to demand Israel comply with ICJ ruling, United Nations News Centre, July 20, 2004, 2007-05-21,weblink All 25 members of the European Union voted in favour of the resolution after it was amended to include calls for Israelis and Palestinians to meet their obligations under the "roadmap" peace plan.NEWS, UN demands Israel scrap barrier, BBC, July 21, 2004, 2007-05-21,weblink

Israeli opinions

According to a survey conducted by the Tami Steinmetz Center for Peace Research, an academic research institution of Tel Aviv University, there was overwhelming support for the barrier among the Jewish population of Israel: 84% in March 2004 and 78% in June 2004.Peace Index / Most Israelis support the fence, despite Palestinian suffering. Haaretz. Israel News. Ephraim Yaar, Tamar Hermann. March 10, 2004Some Israelis oppose the barrier. The Israeli Peace Now movement has stated that while they would support a barrier that follows the 1949 Armistice lines, the "current route of the fence is intended to destroy all chances of a future peace settlement with the Palestinians and to annex as much land as possible from the West Bank" and that the barrier would "only increase the blood to be spilt on both sides and continue the sacrificing of Israeli and Palestinian lives for the settlements."Peace Now : Opinions > Peace Now Positions {{webarchive|url= |date=2007-09-27 }} Some Israeli left wing activists, such as Anarchists Against the Wall and Gush Shalom, are active in protests against the barrier, especially in the West Bank towns of Bil'in and Jayyous.AATW – Anarchists against the wallGush Shalom – Israeli Peace BlocShaul Arieli, a senior member of the Council for Peace and Security and one of the architects of the Geneva Initiative wrote in Haaretz in March 2009 of the importance "to complete the fence along a route based on security considerations." Arieli found the fence to be justified due to legitimate concerns of Palestinian terrorism and violence, but was critical of the then-government's alleged negligence of completing the fence due to budgetary and political considerations. He called on the public to "demand that the new government complete the fence quickly and along a logical route."Remember the separation fence? {{webarchive|url= |date=2009-04-01 }}, Haaretz By Shaul ArieliDaniel Ayalon, Israel's ambassador to the United States, suggested that reduced ability to conduct attacks would "save the political process" because the barrier would neutralize the ability of militant groups "to hold that process hostage" by conducting these acts.Israel's ambassador defends security fence by Daniel Ayalon (The Washington Times) August 26, 2003Natan Sharansky, Minister of Housing and Construction at the time, viewed the security fence as an option for Israel to defend itself, because the Palestinian Authority had not become a partner in fighting terror, as it was obliged to do under all the agreements that it signedNatan Sharansky: The Case for Democracy p. 214The Anti-Defamation League heavily criticized the ruling of the Court of Justice condemning the West Bank Barrier, asserting that the outcome was stacked against Israel in advance through the biased wording of the submission. It said that Israel was systematically excluded from any say in the Court's makeup and asserted that an anti-Israel environment prevails at the General Assembly, which "regularly demonize[s] Israel". According to the ADL, the politicized nature of the process that produced the opinion threatens to undermine the integrity of the Court and contravene constructive efforts to promote peace in the region.WEB,weblink Decision Dismisses Israel's Arguments, Accepts Palestinian Claims Without Reservation, 2012-07-16, July 9, 2004, yes,weblink" title="">weblink July 4, 2012,

Palestinian opinions

The Palestinian population and its leadership are essentially unanimous in opposing the barrier. A significant number of Palestinians have been separated from their own farmlands or their places of work or study, and many more will be separated as the barriers near Jerusalem are completed. Furthermore, because of its planned route as published by the Israeli government, the barrier is perceived as a plan to confine the Palestinian population to specific areas.NEWS,weblink The San Francisco Chronicle, Israeli fence puts 'cage' on villagers / More Palestinians scrambling to keep barrier from going up, Matthew, Kalman, 2004-03-09, Your Financial News Source {{webarchive|url= |date=2005-12-04 }} They state that Palestinian institutions in Abu Dis will be prevented from providing services to residents in the East Jerusalem suburbs, and that a 10-minute walk has become a 3-hour drive in order to reach a gate, to go (if allowed) through a crowded military checkpoint, and drive back to the destination on the other side.Israel and the Occupied Territories: The place of the fence/wall in international lawn | Amnesty InternationalMore broadly, Palestinian spokespersons, supported by many in the Israeli left wing and other organizations, say that the hardships imposed by the barrier will breed further discontent amongst the affected population and add to the security problem rather than solving it.In his November 2006 interview with Al-Manar TV, Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader Ramadan Salah said that the barrier is an important obstacle, and that "if it weren't there, the situation would be entirely different."Bulletin on November 11, PIJ leader Abdallah Ramadan Shalah interview to Al-Manar TV (Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center at the Center for Special Studies (C.S.S)). November 15, 2006The Palestinian National Authority has accused the U.S. of rewarding construction of the barrier and replied, "[t]he U.S. assurances are being made at the expense of the Palestinian people and the Arab world without the knowledge of the legitimate Palestinian leadership. They are rewarding illegal occupation, settlement and the apartheid wall."Bush and Sharon: Much ado about more than nothing – a commented celebrity scrapbookFor over five years, hundreds of Palestinians and Israeli activists have gathered every week to protest the barrier at the town of Bil'in.WEB,weblink Mass demonstration in Bil'in marks five years of protests against West Bank separation fence, Haaretz, Anshel Pfeffer, February 21, 2010, 2013-09-18, A number of Palestinian protesters have been killed by the IDF while protesting.WEB,weblink Palestinian mother tells of a family tragedy during protest against separation barrier, The Guardian, Ana Carbajosa, 8 January 2011, Bil'in, West Bank, 2013-09-17, Covert operatives of the Israeli government have posed as protesters and threw stones in the general direction of the IDF to create a pretext for arresting protesters.WEB,weblink Undercover Israeli combatants threw stones at IDF soldiers in West Bank, Haaretz, Chaim Levinson, May 7, 2012, 2013-09-18, Protesters posed as members of the fictional "Na'vi" race of the major motion picture "Avatar" during protests following release of the movie, in an effort to compare the Palestinian struggle with that of the fictional Na'vi race, who must defend themselves and their homeland against foreign invaders.WEB,weblink Palestinian protesters pose as Na'vi from 'Avatar', Haaretz, Associated Press, February 12, 2010, 2013-09-18, (File:Israel Wall in London.JPG|thumb|Replica section of the Israeli Barrier, built in London in 2013, as part of the international protest against the Israeli wall)Between 23 December 2013 and 5 January 2014 a major demonstration against the wall was staged in London, in the grounds of St James's Church, Piccadilly. The demonstration was entitled "Bethlehem Unwrapped", and featured a large section of replica wall, reproducing both the fabric of the Israeli wall, and the graffiti to be found on it. Protesters staffed the wall in order to explain the demonstration to visitors and passers-by. Large signs were erected, drawing attention to intentional protest against the wall. Particular reference was made to the International Court of Justice judgement of 9 July 2004 that the security wall contravened international law. The demonstration took place just days after the death of Nelson Mandela, and prominence was therefore given on billboards to Mandella's statement "The UN took a strong stand against apartheid... We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians".WEB, Polya, Dr Gideon, Honor Anti-Apartheid Hero Nelson Mandela's Words: "Our Freedom Is Incomplete Without The Freedom Of The Palestinians",weblink, 18 July 2014, The replica wall, which was 8 metres tall (the same height as the actual wall) was constructed as an art installation by Justin Butcher, Geof Thompson, and Dean Willars, who also credited Deborah Burtin of Tipping Point North South. They invited visitors to add additional graffiti, particularly in the forms of prayers for peace."The Wall" installation page, on the Bethlehem Unwrapped website. St James' Church, which allowed the demonstration on its grounds, and permitted its own church building to be almost entirely hidden by the wall, issued a public statement supporting the right of Israel to defend its borders, but condemning the wall, and the suffering which it caused to Palestinian peoples.Statement and commentary at The Guardian newspaper on-line. The church statement drew attention to the request of the World Council of Churches for all Christians to oppose the wall.

Other International opinions

{{See also|International law and the Arab–Israeli conflict#Legal issues related to the Israeli West Bank barrier}}

The Red Cross

The Red Cross has declared the barrier in violation of the Geneva Convention. On February 18, 2004, The International Committee of the Red Cross stated that the Israeli barrier "causes serious humanitarian and legal problems" and goes "far beyond what is permissible for an occupying power".NEWS, 18 February 2004,weblink Red Cross slams Israel barrier, BBC News, 2008-03-17,

Human rights organizations

Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and other Human rights groups have protested both the routing of the wall and the means by which the land to build the wall was obtained.weblink Human Rights Watch The Israeli women of Machsom Watch regularly monitor events at checkpoints and report their findings. In a 2004 report Amnesty International wrote that "The fence/wall, in its present configuration, violates Israel's obligations under international humanitarian law."WEB,weblink Archived copy, 2007-06-15, yes,weblink" title="">weblink 2007-06-18, Amnesty InternationalThey continue:Since the summer of 2002 the Israeli army has been destroying large areas of Palestinian agricultural land, as well as other properties, to make way for a fence/wall which it is building in the West Bank.In addition to the large areas of particularly fertile Palestinian farmland that have been destroyed, other larger areas have been cut off from the rest of the West Bank by the fence/wall.The fence/wall is not being built between Israel and the Occupied Territories but mostly (close to 90%) inside the West Bank, turning Palestinian towns and villages into isolated enclaves, cutting off communities and families from each other, separating farmers from their land and Palestinians from their places of work, education and health care facilities and other essential services. This in order to facilitate passage between Israel and more than 50 illegal Israeli settlements located in the West Bank.

World Council of Churches

On February 20, 2004 the World Council of Churches demanded that Israel halt and reverse construction on the barrier and strongly condemned "violations of human rights and humanitarian consequences" that resulted from the construction of the barrier. While acknowledging Israel's serious security concerns and asserting that the construction of the barrier on its own territory would not have been a violation of international law, the statement called on "member Churches, Ecumenical Councils of Churches, Christian World Communions and specialized ministries of churches to condemn the wall as an act of unlawful annexation."WEB,weblink Statement on the Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and Israel's Annexation of Palestinian territory, World Council of Churches, 17–20 February 2004, yes,weblink" title="">weblink 2006-07-12, 2013-09-17,

United States opinion

In 2003, when the Bush administration was considering reducing loan guarantees to Israel to discourage construction of the fence, then Secretary of State Colin Powell criticized the project. He said, "A nation is within its rights to put up a fence if it sees the need for one. However, in the case of the Israeli fence, we are concerned when the fence crosses over onto the land of others."NEWS, Associated Press, Powell Criticizes Israeli Fence in West Bank,weblink Fox News, August 5, 2003, 2010-08-27, Response from pro-Israel members of Congress criticized the possible reduction in loan assistance. For example, Senator Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., said, "The administration's threat to cut aid to Israel unless it stops construction of a security fence is a heavy-handed tactic." Lieberman criticized the threat as improper between allies, and continued, "The Israeli people have the right to defend themselves from terrorism, and a security fence may be necessary to achieve this."On April 14, 2004, President of the United States George W. Bush said "In light of new realities on the ground, including already existing major Israeli population centers, it is unrealistic to expect that the outcome of final status negotiations will be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949, and all previous efforts to negotiate a two-state solution have reached the same conclusion.”Bush, George W. (April 14, 2004). "President Bush Commends Israeli Prime Minister Sharon's Plan". White House.On May 25, 2005, Bush said, "I think the wall is a problem. And I discussed this with Ariel Sharon. It is very difficult to develop confidence between the Palestinians and Israel with a wall snaking through the West Bank."PRESS RELEASE, July 25, 2003,weblink President Bush Welcomes Prime Minister Abbas to White House Remarks by President Bush and Prime Minister Abbas, White House, US White House, 2008-03-15, George Bush, The following year, addressing the issue of the barrier as a future border, he said in a letter to Sharon on April 14, 2004 that it "should be a security rather than political barrier, should be temporary rather than permanent and therefore not prejudice any final status issues including final borders, and its route should take into account, consistent with security needs, its impact on Palestinians not engaged in terrorist activities." President Bush reiterated this position during a May 26, 2005 joint press conference with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas in the Rose Garden.PRESS RELEASE, May 26, 2005,weblink President Welcomes Palestinian President Abbas to the White House, White House, US White House, George Bush, 2008-03-15, In 2005, Hillary Clinton, at the time a U.S. Senator from New York, said she supports the separation fence Israel is building along the edges of the West Bank, and that the onus is on the Palestinian Authority to fight terrorism. "This is not against the Palestinian people," she said during a tour of a section of the barrier being built around Jerusalem. "This is against the terrorists. The Palestinian people have to help to prevent terrorism. They have to change the attitudes about terrorism."NEWS,weblink Sen. Clinton: I support W. Bank fence, PA must fight terrorism, Lily Galili and Roni Singer, Haaretz, 2005-11-13, yes,weblink" title="">weblink 2007-10-13, In 2007, Senator Charles Schumer said: "As long as the Palestinians send terrorists onto school buses and to nightclubs to blow up people, Israel has no choice but to build the Security Wall."NEWS, Famed attorney lays out plan for peace,weblink 7 December 2013, Jweek, January 26, 2007,

European Union opinion

According to EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, the EU considers the barrier to be illegal to the extent it is built on Palestinian land.Israel rebukes Ashton for voicing 'concern' on military trial (EUObserver, August 26, 2010)

Canadian opinion

The Canadian Government recognizes Israel's right to protect its citizens from terrorist attacks, including through the restriction of access to its territory, and by building a barrier on its own territory for security purposes. However, it opposes the barrier's incursion into and the disruption of occupied territories. Considering the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) to be "occupied territory", the Canadian government considers the barrier to be contrary to international law under the Fourth Geneva Convention. It opposes the barrier and the expropriations and the demolition of houses and economic infrastructure preceding its construction.Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade: WEB, 2007-07-04,weblink Canadian policy on key issues in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade – Canadian Government, 2012-12-11,

Border opinions

Although the Barrier is purported to be a temporary defense against Palestinian attacks, many view it as significant in terms of future negotiations over Israel's final borders. Some speculate that because sections of the barrier are not built along the Green Line but in the West Bank, the real purpose is to acquire territory. Some people describe the barrier as the de facto future border of the State of Israel. James Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute, has said that the barrier has "unilaterally helped to demarcate the route for future Israeli control over huge West Bank settlement blocks and large swathes of West Bank land".WEB,weblink US Peace Activists Denounce Sharon's Speech, 2008-03-18, Lobe, Jim, 2003-12-20, Inter Press Service, yes,weblink" title="">weblink 2008-12-10, According to B'Tselem, "the overall features of the separation barrier and the considerations that led to determination of the route give the impression that Israel is relying on security arguments to unilaterally establish facts on the ground ..." Chris McGreal in The Guardian writes that the barrier is, "evidently intended to redraw Israel's borders".NEWS,weblink Israel redraws the roadmap, building quietly and quickly, McGreal, Chris, Chris McGreal, October 18, 2005, The Guardian, London, 2007-04-16, Some have speculated that the barrier will prejudice the outcome of border negotiations in favor of the Israelis.WEB, July 22, 2005,weblink Realities on the Ground, miftah, 2008-03-17, Yossi Klein Halevi, Israeli correspondent for The New Republic, writes that "[b]uilding over the green line, by contrast, reminds Palestinians that every time they've rejected compromise – whether in 1937, 1947, or 2000 – the potential map of Palestine shrinks... The fence is a warning: If Palestinians don't stop terrorism and forfeit their dream of destroying Israel, Israel may impose its own map on them... and, because Palestine isn't being restored but invented, its borders are negotiable."WEB, 2003-10-30,weblink Fenced In, The New Republic, Yossi Klein Halevi, 2008-03-17, yes,weblink" title="">weblink 2007-09-28, The Israeli Deputy Defence Minister in 2000 stated that the barrier did not necessarily delineate the boundaries of a future Palestinian State.On March 9, 2006, The New York Times quoted then-acting Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert as stating that if his Kadima party wins the upcoming national elections, he would seek to set Israel's permanent borders by 2010, and that the boundary would run along or close to the barrier.NEWS, March 9, 2006,weblink Olmert Wants to Set Israeli-Palestinian Border by 2010, New York Times, 2008-03-17, Greg Myre, Ehud Olmert, said that if his Kadima Party wins national elections this month, he would seek to set Israel's permanent borders by 2010, and that the boundary would run along or close to Israel's separation barrier in the West Bank., In 2012 it was reported that Israel had presented principles for drawing a border, which essentially propose to turn the West Bank separation barrier into the border with a future Palestinian state.Israel proposes West Bank barrier as border. Dan Perry and Mohammed Daraghmeh, Associated Press, 27 January 2012

Apartheid opinions

Ahmad Hajihosseini, Observer for the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), said that building and maintaining the wall is a crime of apartheid,WEB, 2003-10-14,weblink Press Release SC/7895 Security Council 4841st Meeting (AM), United Nations, 2008-03-17, AHMAD HAJIHOSSEINI, AHMAD HAJIHOSSEINI, Observer for the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), said the form of apartheid Israel practised against Palestinians fulfilled all elements of the crime as defined under the 1976 apartheid Convention., isolating Palestinian communities in the West Bank and consolidating the annexation of Palestinian land by Israeli settlements.Malcolm Hedding, a South African minister who worked against South African apartheid and Executive Director of the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem, said that the West Bank barrier has nothing to do with apartheid and everything to do with Israel's self-defense. He said that Israel has proven its desire to reach an accommodation with the Palestinians while granting political rights to its own Arab citizens within a liberal democratic system, but that the Palestinians remain committed to Israel's destruction. By contrast, he says, it was a tiny minority in South Africa that held power and once democracy came, the National Party that had dominated the masses disappeared.WEB,weblink Abbas ne reconnaît pas le droit d'Israël à exister, French, The Jerusalem Post, Herb Keinon, September 17, 2013, 2013-09-17, WEB,weblink Israel and Apartheid, Scholars For Peace in the Middle East, Malcolm Hedding, March 3, 2010, 2013-09-17, WEB,weblink Expose 'apartheid' charge's real agenda, The Jerusalem Post, Malcolm Hedding, March 11, 2010, 2013-09-17,

Art, books, film

File:Banksy, gandhi graffiti on apartheid wall.jpg|right|thumb|Graffiti paintings on the wall by British graffiti artist BanksyBanksyFile:WestBankBarrier443.jpg|right|thumb|Section of West Bank barrier located on Route 443, near Jerusalem. Painting was likely done by the official contractor."... Under painted arches one can glimpse expanses of green lawns and perpetually blue skies, painted by an artist on the gray concrete that hides the Arabs' homes." ((Gideon Levy]], "What You See and What You Don't on the Maccabim-Reut Highway to Jerussalem," Ha'aretz, 20 January 2005, Source: Journal of Palestine Studies, Vol. 34, No. 3 (Spring, 2005), pp. 113–15))The wall has been used as a canvas for many paintings and writings. It has been called the "world's largest protest graffiti".WEB,weblink pdf, Israel's "security" wall is world's largest protest graffiti,, Sethi, Chitleen K., August 4, 2010, 2013-09-17, Some of these (but not all) have been removed by the Israelis, and sometimes by people on the Palestinian side.Graffiti on the Palestinian side of the wall has been one of many forms of protest against its existence, demanding an end to the barrier, or criticizing its builders and its existence ("Welcome to the Ghetto-Abu Dis"WEB,weblink The Plot of the Eastern Segregation Wall, The Guardian, Chris McGreal, 19 January 2004, 2013-09-17, and "Blessed are the Peacemakers"WEB,weblink Jerusalem Arabs Look to God for Answer,, Julie Stahl, July 7, 2008, 2013-09-17, ).In August 2005, U.K. graffiti artist Banksy painted nine images on the Palestinian side of the barrier.WEB,weblink Spray can prankster tackles Israel's security barrier, The Guardian, Sam Jones, 5 August 2005, 2013-09-17, He describes the barrier as "the ultimate activity holiday destination for graffiti writers", and returned in December 2007 with new images for "Santa's ghetto" in Bethlehem.WEB,weblink In pictures: Banksy returns to Bethlehem, BBC News, 3 December 2007, 2013-09-17, The exhibition "Santa's Ghetto in Bethlehem 2007"WEB,weblink "Santa's Ghetto in Bethlehem 2007"., was co-organized by Banksy and a number of other artists with the aim of drawing attention to poverty in the West Bank and boosting tourism.WEB,weblink "Artists draw attention to Bethlehem". CNN. 12 December 2007., On the wall, it features, among other images, a peace dove dressed in a bulletproof vest that is being aimed at,WEB,weblink "Bethlehem Santa's Ghetto". Art Das Kunstmagazin. 20 December 2007., a young girl frisking a soldier,WEB,weblink "Graffiti Artists Decorate Bethlehem Barrier". NPR. 24 December 2007., a donkey that is facing a soldier who is checking his identity papers, as well as a rat, one of Banksy's recurring themes, with a slingshot.WEB,weblink "Bethlehem Santa's Ghetto". Art Das Kunstmagazin. 20 December 2007., WEB,weblink "Banksy in Bethlehem". Art Das Kunstmagazin. 21. December 2007., 2010-03-06,weblink" title="">weblink 2009-03-04, yes, One of Italian artist Blu's contributions to the project, featured a walled Christmas tree surrounded by a number of stumps.WEB,weblink Blu's website: Walled Christmas tree surrounded by tree stumps. Retrieved 2013-04-18., American contemporary artist Ron English pasted portraits of Mickey Mouse dressed as a Palestinian with the slogan "You are not in Disneyland anymore" on the wall.WEB,weblink "Banksy in Bethlehem". Art Das Kunstmagazin. 21. December 2007., In an expression of frustration, Palestinian artist "Trash", glued the lower part of a leg on the wall that is appearing to kick through it.Although many artists received positive attention and reviews, some Palestinian people had negative opinions toward the artists' movement. A street artist from New York, Swoon, put two works on the Sentry towers in Bethlehem. She did not anticipate that some Palestinians would be opposed to her efforts. Swoon states that there was much enthusiasm from the kids of the Aida refugee camp, who were excited about the new artwork going on the wall. While the kids were excited, many elders believed that the children would grow up with the wrong, positive idea of the wall. One elder from the refugee camp claimed that "they don't necessarily want the kids to start viewing that area positively, and so they see the work as a thing of beauty, but in a place where beauty shouldn't be" (Parry, 10). Most international artists felt that they were creating "something for the people trapped behind wall, as well as creating an international symbol that would be broadcast around the world. [The elder man] wasn't speaking about international symbols, but about what it means to live in the shadow of an 80 foot guard tower" (Parry, 10). Although the graffiti artists felt that they were making a statement with their pieces that would help bring attention and help to the Palestinians, many Palestinians feel that it turns the wall into something beautiful. By painting on the wall, some Palestinians feel that the wall turns into a work of art instead "of an aggressive prison Wall" (Parry, 10). Of course, transforming the wall into something positive was not the intention of the artists. They thought that their work would bring out the oppressiveness and the emotion responses of the people affected by the wall.BOOK, Parry, William, Against the Wall the Art of Resistance in Palestine, Lawrence Hill, Chicago, 192, Against The WallOn June 21, 2006, when he visited Israel to give a concert, Pink Floyd's Roger Waters wrote "Tear down the wall" on the wall, a phrase from the Pink Floyd album The Wall.WEB,weblink Pink Floyd's Roger Waters urges Israel to 'tear down the wall'. Haaretz. 21 June 2006., In 2007, with their project "Face2Face",WEB,weblink JR's Face2Face project. Retrieved 2013-04-18., French artists JR and "Marco", organized what was then (until at least 2010), considered to be the largest illegal photography exhibition ever made.WEB,weblink The street art of JR, The Guardian, Elizabeth Day, 6 March 2010, 2013-09-17, In monumental formats, portraits of Israelis and Palestinians of similar professions and backgrounds were pasted next to each other on the wall. The idea was to highlight similarities rather than differences between the peoples. The project spanned over eight cities on both sides of the wall such as Bethlehem, Jericho, Ramallah and Jerusalem.WEB,weblink JR's Face2Face project ., 2013-04-18, The project was subsequently hosted by a number of exhibitions around the world including the Biennale di Venezia in Italy,WEB,weblink JR's Face2Face at the Biennale Venice, 2013-04-18, the Foam-Musée de la Photographie in Amsterdam,WEB,weblink JR's Face2Face at the Musée de la Photographie, Amsterdam, 2013-04-18, the summer photography festival "Recontres d'Arles" in Arles, Southern France,WEB,weblink JR's Face2Face at the Rencontres d'Arles. Retrieved 2013-04-18., Artitud in Berlin, Germany,WEB,weblink JR's Face2Face at Artitud in Berlin, 2013-04-18, Artcurial in Paris, FranceWEB,weblink JR's Face2Face at Artcurial in Paris. Retrieved 2013-04-18., and the Rath Museum in Geneva, Switzerland.WEB,weblink JR's Face2Face at the Rath Museum in Geneva, 2013-04-18, JR's work, including "Face2Face" is currently shown at the Watari-Um Museum in Tokyo, Japan.WEB,weblink JR's Face2Face at the Watari-Um Museum in Tokyo, 2013-04-18, As part of a Dutch-Palestinian collaboration, led by Palestinian activist Faris Arouri, Internet users were invited to submit 80-character long messages to be spray-painted on the security barrier in exchange for a donation of 30 Euro. Messages that included or incited racism, hate, violence or pornography were rejected.NEWS,weblink Postcard from Ramallah, Time, 1 June 2009, WEB,weblink "Palestinian graffiti spreads message of peace", CNN, 20 April 2009, About two-thirds of the money raised was donated to social, cultural and educational grassroots projects such as the renovation of the Peace and Freedom Youth Forum's open Youth Center in Bir Zeit. When the project was ended, it was claimed to have reached 550,000,000 people worldwide and placed 1,498 messages on the wall.WEB,weblink SendaMessage Foundation, 2013-04-18, WEB,weblink Sending a message to the world, AlJazeera, 23 May 2008, One of the organizers of "Send a message", Justus van Oel, a Dutch theater director, commissioned South African anti-apartheid activist and theologian Farid Esack to compose a letter to be placed on the wall in 2009. The result was a 1,998-word letter in English written in a single line and stretching over {{convert|1.6|mi|1|abbr=on|order=flip}} near the town of Ramallah, comparing the situation in the Palestinian territories to the South African apartheid era.The British photojournalist William Parry has recently published a book entitled "Against the Wall" The wall was the primary focus of British playwright David Hare's dramatic monologue Wall, which is being adapted as a live-action/animated feature-length documentary by the National Film Board of Canada, to be completed in 2014.WEB,weblink David Hare on the West Bank: the playwright turns journalist, The Guardian, Dickson, Andrew, London, March 20, 2009, 2013-09-18, WEB,weblink National Film Board of Canada to Animate Israel's West Bank Barrier For Theatrical Doc, The Hollywood Reporter, Vlessing, Etan, 14 December 2011, 2013-09-18, The barrier is also the subject of the 2011 documentary film, 5 Broken Cameras, which documents the story of Emad Burnat, a Palestinian farmer of the Palestinian village of Bil'in, who had intended to use his videocamera to record vignettes of his son's childhood but ended up filming the resistance movement to the Israeli separation wall that was erected through his village.WEB,weblink 5 Broken Cameras: Home Videos Evolve into Stirring Film on Palestinian Resistance to Israeli Wall, Democracy Now!, Amy Goodman & Juan González, June 7, 2012, 2013-09-18, This award-winning film tells the story of the nonviolent protests of the village residents and the international and Israeli activists who join them, and of how in the course of his filming one after another of his cameras is shot or smashed.WEB,weblink 5 Broken Cameras, IMDb, 22 September 2012, 2013-09-18,

Other barriers

{{See also|Border barrier|Israel–Gaza barrier|Israel–Egypt barrier}}Two similar barriers, the Israeli Gaza Strip barrier and the Israeli-builtWEB,weblink Army building new Gaza barrier, Israel News, Ynetnews, Hanan Greenberg, 2005-04-14, 2013-09-18, 7–9 meter (23–30 ft) wall separating Gaza from Egypt (temporarily breached on January 23, 2008), which is currently under Egyptian control, are also controversial.NEWS, January 24, 2008,weblink Hamas 'spent months cutting through Gaza wall in secret operation', pub, 2008-03-15, (Mohammed Abed/AFP/Getty), London, {{See also|Saudi–Yemen barrier}}In February 2004 The Guardian reported that Yemeni opposition newspapers likened the barrier Saudi Arabia was building to the Israeli West Bank barrier,NEWS,weblink Saudi security barrier stirs anger in Yemen, 2007-03-23, Whitaker, Brian, The Guardian, February 17, 2004, London, while The Independent headed an article with "Saudi Arabia, one of the most vocal critics in the Arab world of Israel's "security fence" in the West Bank, is quietly emulating the Israeli example by erecting a barrier along its porous border with Yemen".NEWS,weblink Saudi Arabia enrages Yemen with fence, 2007-03-23, Bradley, John, The Independent, February 11, 2004, London, Head of Saudi Arabia's border guard, Talal Anqawi, dismissed comparisons with Israel's West Bank barrier: "The barrier of pipes and concrete could in no way be called a separation fence. What is being constructed inside our borders with Yemen is a sort of screen ... which aims to prevent infiltration and smuggling," he said. "It does not resemble a wall in any way."

Detailed timeline

(File:Inside the West Bank on the West Bank barrier.JPG|thumb|Inside the West Bank on the West Bank barrier)In 1992, the idea of creating a physical barrier between the Israeli and Palestinian populations was proposed by then-prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, following the murder of an Israeli teenage girl in Jerusalem. Rabin said that Israel must "take Gaza out of Tel Aviv" in order to minimize friction between the peoples.WEB,weblink How to Build a Fence, 2013-08-18, bot: unknown,weblink" title="">weblink 2006-02-19, , pp. 50–64. David Makovsky, Foreign Affairs, volume 83, issue 2, March/April 2004; {{ISSN|0015-7120}}; {{doi|10.2307/20033902}}Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: from Balfour Promise to Bush Declaration: The Complications and the Road for a Lasting Peace, pp. 325–26. Gabriel G. Tabarani, AuthorHouse, 2008; {{ISBN|9781467879040}} Following an outbreak of violent incidents in Gaza in October 1994, Rabin said: "We have to decide on separation as a philosophy. There has to be a clear border. Without demarcating the lines, whoever wants to swallow 1.8 million Arabs will just bring greater support for Hamas." Following an attack on HaSharon Junction, near the city of Netanya, Rabin made his goals more specific: "This path must lead to a separation, though not according to the borders prior to 1967. We want to reach a separation between us and them. We do not want a majority of the Jewish residents of the state of Israel, 98% of whom live within the borders of sovereign Israel, including a united Jerusalem, to be subject to terrorism."Routledge Handbook on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, p. 191. Gerald M. Steinberg, Routledge, 2013; {{ISBN|9780415778626}}(File:West Bank Barrier Palestine side.JPG|thumb|West Bank Barrier, Palestinian side)In 1994, the first section of a barrier (slabs of concrete contiguous for miles) was constructed. The section follows the border between Bat Hefer and Tulkarm communities.WEB,weblink Warring Communities Separated By Wall, ABC News, Sandy Nunez, June 6, 2006, no,weblink" title="">weblink 2011-01-31, 2013-09-18, In 1995, the Shahal commission was established by Yitzhak Rabin to discuss how to implement a barrier separating Israelis and Palestinians. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, prior to the Camp David 2000 Summit with Yasser Arafat, vowed to build a separation barrier, stating that it is "essential to the Palestinian nation in order to foster its national identity and independence without being dependent on the State of Israel".In November 2000, during Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations in Washington, Prime Minister Ehud Barak approved financing of a {{convert|74|km|0|abbr=on}} fence between the Wadi Ara region and Latrun. Not until 14 April 2002, the Cabinet of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon decided to implement the plan and establish a permanent barrier in the Seam Area. On 23 June 2002, the government definitely approved the plan in principle. By March 2003, infrastructure and construction work along most of the approved route had begun. At the end of 2002, due to government inaction, several localities who suffered the most from lack of a border barrier had already started to build the barrier using their own funds directly on the green-line.NEWS,weblink Gilboa towns build DIY separation fence, 2007-04-16, Ratner, David, February 12, 2002, Haaretz, Residents in the Gilboa region waited two years for a separation fence to be built. Now, after having sent repeated entreaties to the government and having received assorted, unfulfilled promises, they have decided to 'take the law into their own hands,' and build the fence themselves., In 2003, {{convert|180|km|0|abbr=on}} had been completed. In 2004, Israel started the southern part of the barrier. In February 2004, the Israeli government said it would review the route of the barrier in response to US and Palestinian concerns. In particular, Israeli cabinet members said modifications would be made to reduce the number of checkpoints Palestinians had to cross, and especially to reduce Palestinian hardship in areas such as the city of Qalqilyah which the barrier completely surrounds. On February 20, 2005, the Israeli cabinet approved the barrier's route on the same day it approved the execution of the Gaza disengagement plan.Israeli Cabinet Approves Gaza Withdrawal. Associated Press, 20 February 2005Move to annex settlements overshadows Israeli cabinet's approval of Gaza pullout. Chris McGreal, The Guardian, 21 February 2005 The length of the route was increased to {{convert|670|km|0|abbr=on}} (about twice the length of the Green Line) and would leave about 10% of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem and nearly 50,000 Palestinians on the Israeli side.The Humanitarian Impact of the West Bank Barrier on Palestinian Communities {{webarchive|url= |date=2011-03-05 }}, Update No. 5 (including maps). OCHAoPt, March 2005 (1.9 MB) It also put the large settlement Maale Adumim and the Gush Etzion bloc on the Israeli side of the barrier, effectively annexing them.Map of the West Bank Barrier: New Route Comparison {{webarchive|url= |date=2013-11-09 }}. UN-OCHA, February 2005 The final route, when realized, closes the Wall separating East Jerusalem, including Maale Adumim, from the West Bank. Before, the exact route of the barrier had not been determined, and it had been alleged by opponents that the barrier route would encircle the Samarian highlands of the West Bank, separating them from the Jordan valley. In June 2004, in exchange for Finance Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's support Israel's planned withdrawal from Gaza, Prime Minister Sharon pledged to build an extension of the barrier to the east of the settlement Ariel to be completed before the finish of the withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. Despite the ICJ ruling that the wall beyond the Green Line is illegal, Ariel Sharon reiterated on September 8, 2004, that the large settlement blocs of Ariel, Ma'aleh Adumim and Gush Etzion will be on the Israeli side of the Barrier. He also decided that the Barrier would run east of Ariel, but its connection with the main fence be postponed.Sharon: Key settlement blocs to stay inside fence. Aluf Benn, Haaretz, 9 September 2004 Israel appropriated Palestinian private land to build upon the fence and started preparations for the construction of the wall to the farthest point inside the West Bank ever, 22 km beyond the Green Line, 3.5 kilometers long, and 100 meters wide.Despite U.S. deal, Israel starts Ariel fence Arnon Regular, Haaretz, 14 June 2004In 2005, the Israeli Supreme Court made reference to the conditions and history that led to the building of the barrier. The Court described the history of violence against Israeli citizens since the breakout of the Second Intifada and the loss of life that ensued on the Israeli side. The court ruling also cited the attempts Israel had made to defend its citizens, including "military operations" carried out against "terrorist acts", and stated that these actions "did not provide a sufficient answer to the immediate need to stop the severe acts of terrorism. ... Despite all these measures, the terror did not come to an end. The attacks did not cease. Innocent people paid with both life and limb. This is the background behind the decision to construct the separation fence (Id., at p. 815)." As of February 2005, about {{convert|209|km|0|abbr=on}} of the Barrier had been completed.Official map, February 20, 2005In 2006, {{convert|362|km|1|abbr=on}} of the barrier had been completed, {{convert|88|km|1|abbr=on}} was under construction and {{convert|253|km|1|abbr=on}} had not yet been started. On April 30, 2006, the route was revised by a cabinet decision, following a suicide bombing in Tel Aviv.Israel cabinet approves changes to security fence route {{webarchive|url= |date=2007-02-27 }}. Jurist, April 30, 2006Official map {{webarchive|url= |date=2007-06-30 }} In the Ariel area, the new route corrects an anomaly of the previous route that would have left thousands of Palestinians on the Israeli side. The Alfei Menashe settlement bloc was reduced in size, and the new plan leaves three groups of Palestinian houses on the Palestinian side of the fence. The barrier's route in the Jerusalem area will leave Beit Iksa on the Palestinian side; and Jaba on the Israeli side, but with a crossing to the Palestinian side at Tzurif. Further changes were made to the route around Eshkolot and Metzadot Yehuda, and the route from Metzadot to Har Choled was approved.Status reports Israeli Ministry of DefenseMap of the West Bank Barrier Update – Overview of changes to the route {{webarchive|url= |date=2007-02-10 }}. UN-OCHA, July 2006In 2012, {{convert|440|km|1|abbr=on}} (62%) of the barrier had been completed, {{convert|57|km|1|abbr=on}} (8%) was under construction and {{convert|212|km|1|abbr=on}} (30%) had not yet been started, with little progress made by 2014.As of September 2014, eight years after approving the 45 km stretch of barrier enclosing Gush Etzion, no progress has been made on it, and Israel reopened the debate. The fence is scheduled to go through the national park, the Nahal Rafaim valley, and the Palestinian village of Battir. The Israeli land appropriated in Gva'ot would be on the Palestinian side of the barrier.Israel to re-authorize security barrier route near West Bank historical site - Retrieved 19 September 2014 On 21 September 2014, the government voted to not reauthorize the barrier in the Gush Etzion area.

See also



External links

{{Commons category|Israeli West Bank barrier}}


  • West Bank Barrier Status 2012 including sections that are under construction, frozen or being dismantled, and specifying which sections are wall. August 2012, Geneva Initiative
  • weblink" title="">West Bank access restrictions (10.4 MB!). December 2012, OCHAoPt, on weblink" title="">Map Centre
  • weblink" title="">Humanitarian Atlas 2012 (49.1 MB!). December 2012, OCHAoPt, on weblink" title="">Map Centre
  • weblink" title="">Barrier route. July 2008, OCHAoPt
  • WEB,weblink Barrier route,  {{small|(2.10 MB)}}. June 2012, B'Tselem
  • The Separation Barrier in the West Bank. April 2006, B'Tselem, on MidEastWeb, Map of Israel Security Barrier ("Wall") – Current Status (2006)
  • {{PDFwayback |date=20090327180832 |url= |title=Barrier Gates: Northern West Bank|size=1.21 MB}}. March 2005, OCHAoPt, on
  • weblink" title="">West Bank Closures (2.5 MB). December 2003, OCHAoPt
  • Israeli Security Barrier ("Wall") – Current Status (2005) and Evolution. February 2005 versus August 2003, MidEastWeb
  • Who's in, Who's out (Names in Hebrew). October 2003, Ma'ariv, on MidEastWeb, "First Disclosure of Historic Document: The Final Route of the Separation Fence"
  • First plan. May 2002, Haaretz, on MidEastWeb

General news resources

Israeli government and courts

United Nations and International Court of Justice rulings

  • WEB,weblink Commission on Human Rights: Report on 61st session, yes,weblink" title="">weblink 2006-02-09,  {{small|(2.25 MB)}}.

Links to articles opposing the barrier

Links to articles in favor of the barrier

{{Israeli-Palestinian Conflict}}{{Arab-Israeli Conflict}}{{coord missing|West Bank}}

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