women and peace

Palestine and Israel: the Wall


A Brief History of The Apartheid Wall, The Separation Wall, The Wall, The Security Barrier, The Defensive Fence, The Security Fence, The Seam Zone

Whatever you call it, it means imprisoning the Palestinian people for the illusion of security.

The process of land confiscation and the uprooting of trees for the construction of the Israeli Separation Wall began on June 2002.

In an attempt to quell fears that it is illegally expropriating Palestinian land with its "Security Barrier" the Israeli military publicly announced that "every effort has been made to avoid including Palestinian villages" while mapping out the path of the Wall. Yet, recent maps depict just the opposite. The first contradiction is that only 11 kilometers, of the officially proposed 650 km, follows the border of the Palestinian Territories (The Green Line) established in 1967. The vast majority of the Wall zigzags carving out valuable agricultural land and natural resources belonging to Palestinian villages and in certain areas cuts 6 kilometers deep into West Bank. Upon its completion, the Wall will have annexed up to 50% of the West Bank and isolated many Palestinian communities into impoverished cantons, enclaves, and "military zones".Currently in Phase 1 of its development, Palestinians living in the northwestern region of the West Bank (where the Wall is either completed or construction is nearly finished) are currently suffering from the debilitating effects of the loss of their land, resources, and the freedom of movement.

Although the Israeli government will establish new de facto borders with it's Wall, it has denied that it will annex land into the State of Israel and therefore will not change the status of any of the residents trapped in this newly created no-mans land between the Green Line and the Separation Wall. Some 250, 000 Palestinians living in districts around the Wall will be separated from the West Bank but will not be legally recognized as living in Israel.
 


Wall Facts
The concrete Wall is 8 meters high (24 feet) or twice as high as the Berlin Wall. The buffer zones on each side of the Wall are any where from 30-100 meters wide on both sides (half a football field) which give space for military patrols, surveillance cameras, sniper posts, mine fields, motion sensors, trenches, a three meter high electric fence, and sand paths to trace footprints. The buffer zones pave the way for large scale expulsions because they are built close to homes, shops, and schools. Land confiscation, severe restriction of movement, and destruction will mean the loss of 6,500 jobs. The Wall costs approximately 2.8 million dollars per kilometer with an early cost estimate of over 2 billion dollars for its completion. The Gaza Strip has had a system of separation fences surrounding it since the 1980s.

Report prepared by a US-American correspondent to WLOE, November 2003.
S ources: Halper, Jeff. "Obstacles to Peace A Critical Tour of the Jerusalem/West Bank Interface", PalMap GSE, August 2003.

Related websites:

Israeli Military website about the Wall:www.seamzone.mod.gov.il
Campaign to stop the Wall: www.stopthewall.org
Women for Human Rights (Israel): http://www.machsomwatch.org/

 

back to "the Wall"
to Middle East menu