* The Separation Barrier

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Overview


From September 2000 to mid-2005, hundreds of Palestinian suicide bombings and terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians killed nearly 1,000 innocent people and wounded thousands of others. In response, Israel’s government decided to construct a security fence that would run near the “Green Line” between Israel and the West Bank to prevent Palestinian terrorists from easily infiltrating into Israel proper. The project had the overwhelming support of the Israeli public and was deemed legal by Israel’s Supreme Court. […]

Before the construction of the fence, and in many places where it has not yet been completed, a terrorist need only walk across an invisible line to cross from the West Bank into Israel…. Approximately 75 percent of the suicide bombers who attacked targets inside Israel came across the border in the area where the first phase of the fence was built.

During the 34 months from the beginning of the violence in September 2000 until the construction of the first continuous segment of the security fence at the end of July 2003, Samaria-based terrorists carried out 73 attacks in which 293 Israelis were killed and 1,950 wounded. In the 11 months between the erection of the first segment at the beginning of August 2003 and the end of June 2004, only three attacks were successful, and all three occurred in the first half of 2003.

Since construction of the fence began, the number of attacks has declined by more than 90%. The number of Israelis murdered and wounded decreased by more than 70% and 85%, respectively, following the erection of the fence. […]

Although critics have sought to portray the security fence as a kind of “Berlin Wall,” it is nothing of the sort. First, unlike the Berlin Wall, the fence does not separate one people, Germans from Germans, and deny freedom to those on one side. Israel’s security fence separates two peoples, Israelis and Palestinians, and offers freedom and security for both. Second, while Israelis are fully prepared to live with Palestinians, and 20 percent of the Israeli population is already Arab, it is the Palestinians who say they do not want to live with any Jews and call for the West Bank to be judenrein. Third, the fence is not being constructed to prevent the citizens of one state from escaping; it is designed solely to keep terrorists out of Israel.

The text above is excerpted from “West Bank, Gaza and Lebanon Security Barriers” (by Mitchell Bard, Jewish Virtual Library). To view the full piece, click here.


Additional Resources

West Bank, Gaza and Lebanon Security Barriers
By Mitchell Bard (Jewish Virtual Library)

Israel’s Anti-Terror Fence: The World Court Case
By Laurence Rothenberg and Abraham Bell
February 2004

VIDEOS:

Israel’s Security Fence
By AwesomeSeminars.com

 

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