Facts on the Israeli "Security" Wall
Israel’s “Security” Wall: Another Land Grab
Israel’s goal in building the “security” wall is
twofold: (1) to confiscate Palestinian land in order to facilitate
further colony expansion and unilaterally redraw geopolitical borders
and (2) to encourage an exodus of Palestinians by denying them the
ability to earn a living from their land, by denying them adequate
water resources, and by restricting freedom of movement to such extent
as to make remaining in the town or village an unviable option.
The first phase of the wall’s construction is complete.
If the wall were truly about security, the wall would have been built
on Israel’s 1967 pre-occupation border (the “Green Line”).
However, the wall is not being built on the Green Line, but rather
well within Occupied Palestinian Territory.
Facts on the Wall:
Length of Wall:
km, more than double the length of the Green Line.
6% of the wall will be within 100 meters of the Green Line.
Land to be de facto Annexed into Israel:
of the Occupied West Bank
Percentage of Settlers Outside Wall:
Percentage of Palestinians to be
Trapped in Wall:
of Palestinians Isolated Between the Wall and the Green Line
(10.5% of the Palestinian West Bank population). Of this, approximately
20,000 Palestinians will be living in the “closed zone.”
of Palestinians who will be Separated from their Land by the
||329,000 (13.8% of
the Palestinian West Bank population)
|Length of Wall:
than 200 km
of Palestinians Trapped Between the Wall and the Green Line:
living in 20 towns/villages.
|Location of Wall:
||To date, more than
124 km of the Wall is more than 1 km east of the Green Line.
of Land Confiscated for Wall Construction:
|Acres of Land Isolated
and the Green Line:
|89,500 = 6.1% of
the Occupied West Bank for current Wall. However, this will
increase to 15% upon completion.
of Homes Demolished or Under Threat of Demolition for Wall Construction:
|Number of Trees
Destroyed for Wall Construction:
||102,320 (of which
83,000 were olive trees)
of Damages Greenhouses:
|Number of Businesses
Demolished for Wall
of Water Wells
Confiscated or Behind the Wall:
supplying half of the water in which the Wall is located.
What is the Wall?
The Wall: Current Devastation and Future Plans
In June 2002, Israel
began implementing the next stage of its expansionist and repressive
program by building a Wall inside the West Bank that would run at
least the West Bank’s entire length. Not surprisingly, the path
of the ever-winding Wall would follow, consistently, the logic of
land confiscation and control, including the annexation of settlements
and the caging off of built-up, Palestinian areas. Contrary to worldwide
news reports, the Wall (also referred to as the “fence”,
“separation barrier”, and particularly deceptively the
“security fence”) will not mark the 1967 border, also
known as the Green Line. The Wall is in fact a major land grab and
a sealing of the fate of the Occupied Territories and of Palestine.
Currently, signs of the Wall—and its impact—can be seen
in its “first phase” taking place in the Qalqiliya, Tulkarm,
and Jenin districts, along with current construction and destruction
for the Wall that is taking place in Jerusalem and Bethlehem. In all
of these areas, the Wall is nearing completion; Israel announced the
completion of 27 kilometres of the Wall in April 2003. In the first
phase areas alone, which represent only 1/3 of the Wall (in its shortest
form), 65 communities will be affected, including over 200,000 people.
So far, massive destruction has been felt by communities including
the razing of agricultural land, damage to irrigation networks, isolation
of water resources, and the demolition of homes and community infrastructure;
all of this atop of the prevention of accessing their land, markets,
and travelling for employment and to visit family. The Wall’s
first phase draws attention to the affects of the Wall and the expected
impacts of its existence and continuation.
The Wall in its current mapping snakes its way inside the West Bank
at points up to 6 kilometres, such as by Jayyus and ‘Isla in
Qalqiliya district, effectively confiscating substantial amounts of
Palestinian land. Amidst these devastating prospects and “developments,”
Israel is nearing the final approval of an expanded Wall plan which
will move the Wall even further east, up to 16 km inside the West
Bank in order to annex settlements such as Ariel, Immanuel, and Kedumim.
At the same time, the Israeli proposal for a second Wall along the
Jordan Valley and running somewhat parallel to the first Wall, which
was publicly introduced in March 2003, is soon to begin. With the
construction of the expanded and second Wall, Israel will isolate
amidst plans of direct control—some 1/2 of the West Bank, as
the Wall will run the length of over 650 kilometers!
Today, in Jerusalem, the Wall is furthering the complete isolation
of the heart of Palestine. Once the commercial, social, religious,
and historical center of the West Bank, and to all of historic Palestine
prior to 1948, this city has become inaccessible to the majority of
Palestinians under the Israeli closure system that began some ten
years ago and which the Wall is now solidifying. In Bethlehem, also
a religious and cultural center in Palestine, the Wall is severing
the city’s connection with Jerusalem, the rest of the West Bank,
and among communities within the area.
Moreover, east of the Green Line along the first phase, it is expected
that an additional, parallel wall, as well as portions of the Trans-Israel
Highway, will be built, further isolating the areas between the Wall
and the Green Line and expelling residents from their villages. The
Wall is a continuation and magnification of the closure and siege
policy and a major “tool” to further shrink the already
existing Palestinian ghettos. The impact of the Wall cannot be underrated.
The Wall’s Structure
The Wall takes on
a number of physical forms, such as the one in Qalqiliya, which is
some 8-meters high made of concrete and lined with watchtowers, as
well as other areas where the Wall is a series of fences, some of
which are electric, and may include some or all of the following:
trenches, roads, barbed wires, cameras, trace paths for footprints,
buffer zones, and spanning a width between 70-100 meters. In Bethlehem
the Wall consists of both structures: fences (including electric),
buffer zones, sensors, trenches, and barbed wires, included of which
is a by-pass road for complete isolation of the city from the West
Bank, as well as a concrete Wall that is to encircle part of the community.
Whatever the structural differences, the affects are the same.
The idea of the Wall is not new, both conceptually and literally.
Talk within Israel and its establishment of erecting barriers and
further isolating Palestinian communities precedes the start of the
Intifada. The majority of the Wall’s projection continues to
be kept secret by the Israeli military and government. Maps that exist
today of the Wall, the expanded Wall, and the second Wall are based
on Israeli military confiscation orders which farmers received and
which were accompanied by small maps of their communities, as well
as maps produced by the Yesha settlers council with the support of
the Israeli Ministry of Defence. In addition, leaks and statements
to the Israeli media and the Israeli courts by the military and government,
though sporadic, also function as sources of information. The military
has officially refused to publish the map of the Wall, and any public
acquisition of maps of the first phase of the Wall have been after
the destruction begins, and usually indirectly through a map being
given to a particular locality or served to an Israeli judge in a
Sealing the Fate
The official Israeli
rhetoric which states that (dehumanizing) crossing points for people
and goods along the Wall will be established is not expected to come
into fruition on any practical level, since Israel’s permit
system is a notorious pretense for closure and violation of freedom
of movement. According to the Israeli Human Rights organization B’Tselem,
Israel did not allocate enough money in this year’s budget for
such crossings, giving just enough time for much of the lands in the
first phase areas to dry out. The spiral of land confiscation and
indescribable human suffering in the Occupied Territories is the direct
cause of Israel’s relentless ability to act with impunity, accompanied
by strategic lip service.
Amidst communities facing Israel’s destructions, there has been
insufficient outcry both nationally and internationally. Communities
where the Wall is currently being built have been expressing their
disappointment with the Palestinian Authority’s lack of support
for their suffering; the communities continue to demand that the Authority
take a strong position against the Wall and make a precondition for
any “negotiations” with Israel to halt all construction
of the Wall, return confiscated lands to its rightful owners, and
compensate those who had land and property damaged or destroyed. On
the international level, the limited exposure and knowledge of the
Wall only further highlights the discrepancy between what is presented
and what is actually taking place; the need to make the facts known
The expanded Wall and the Jordan Valley Wall together surface a map
of the West Bank sliced on two sides, with two large, disconnected
areas in the middle, and within them numerous ghettos of villages
and towns with no freedom of movement, surrounded by settlements,
military bases, by-pass roads, and checkpoints. If the expanded Wall
and second Wall are completed, the West Bank will be divided into
three disconnected cantons with movement between nearly impossible.
As a façade of negotiations is being brokered over the creation
of a Palestinian state, in actuality the Wall—called by the
Campaign as the Apartheid Wall--is shaping the future of Palestine
as it solidifies the Occupation’s incessant injustices to the
 An Armistice was signed in January 1949, ending the first Arab-Israeli
War, by which Israel increased by over 40% the size of its partitioned
territory. This came to be known as Green Line Israel, the pre 1967-borders
 The Green Line is approximately 320 km. The projected length consists
of 381 km approved by Israel in October 2003 as well as the projected
wall in the Jordan Valley announced by PM Sharon in March 2003.
| Page Top |