General Mission of Palestine-Tokyo HOME
HOME > The Confile > The Israeli separation wall
The Israeli separation wall

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”[1]).  However, the wall is not being built on the Green Line, but rather well within Occupied Palestinian Territory.

Facts on the Wall:
Upon Completion
Projected Length of Wall: 832 km, more than double the length of the Green Line.[2]
Location of Wall: Only 6% of the wall will be within 100 meters of the Green Line. 
Projected Land to be de facto Annexed into Israel: 47.6% of the Occupied West Bank
Projected Percentage of Settlers Outside Wall: 88.6%
Projected Percentage of Palestinians to be
Trapped in Wall:
Number of Palestinians Isolated Between the Wall and the Green Line 249,000 (10.5% of the Palestinian West Bank population). Of this, approximately 20,000 Palestinians will be living in the “closed zone.”
Number of Palestinians who will be Separated from their Land by the Wall 329,000 (13.8% of the Palestinian West Bank population)
Until September,2004
Length of Wall:  More than 200 km
Number of Palestinians Trapped Between the Wall and the Green Line: 12,000 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.
Acres of Land Confiscated for Wall Construction: Approximately 8,000
Acres of Land Isolated between Wall
and the Green Line:
89,500 = 6.1% of the Occupied West Bank for current Wall. However, this will increase to 15% upon completion.
Number of Homes Demolished or Under Threat of Demolition for Wall Construction: Approximately 75
Number of Trees Destroyed for Wall Construction: 102,320 (of which 83,000 were olive trees)
Number of Damages Greenhouses: 546
Number of Businesses Demolished for Wall
Number of Water Wells
Confiscated or Behind the Wall:
50 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 court hearing.

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 is critical.
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 Palestinian people.

[1] 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
[2] 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 |
Contact us
Copyright (c) 2004 General Mission of Palestine. All Rights Reserved.