What is the reason for Israel’s security fence?
The security fence of Israel will form a strip that is of a width of a four-lane highway approximately. The chain-link fence is located in the center of the strip with an intrusion detection system installed. After its completion, the zone of Israel’s fence will be a 60-100 yard combination of barrier with its width forming of ditches, barbed wires, chain-link fences, watchtowers, roads, concrete walls and razor wires. According to international media, the concrete wall is building up to be 97% more than the planned one. Israel denies this by saying that less than 3% will be of concrete to stop Palestinian Arabs from infiltrating.
Israel already is enclosed with similar fences along the borders of Gaza, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan. The fence is constructed along the “Green Line” (Armistice Line), the route of the truce lines that are left from the 1948 War of Independence. However, the fence deviates from the Green Line substantially into the areas that were captured by Israel in during the Six-Day War. Palestinian Arabs refer to this deviation from the Green Line as “land grab” and are outraged at this construction.
Parties opposing the barriers argue that Israel is attempting to annex Palestinian lands illegally under the guise of security. This stands a violation of international law and undermines the negotiations of establishing new borders. According to the International Court of Justice in a 2004 advisory opinion:
"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."
Further the court found that:
"The construction of the wall, and its associated regime, are contrary to international law."
Palestinian Arabs assert that the barrier has divided Palestinian land and has forced people to experience gaps in work. It has made it difficult for them to go and buy supplies or visit their families. It has caused hardships for Palestinian Arabs in their everyday routines. It has limited employment opportunities for many, has either split their farming lands or separated their farms from their homes.
When linked to an “apartheid” wall, Israel rejects it by stating that it is in reaction to the terrorist killers and not a repugnant or sinister action taken by their government against Palestinian Arabs. In a detailed report by the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan in November 2003, he regarded the barrier as ‘harm allegedly done to Palestinian Arabs’.
It is not only the Palestinian Arabs who are in opposition of the Israeli security fence but a large number of Jewish settlers also condemn this activity as it appears to renounce the Jewish claim to the whole of the Land of Israel. Israeli government states that the fence is not constructed to create a political border line and is open for negotiation for the time a stable Palestinian government is established. However, it looks like a chance as weak as their compliance to other agreements.