Israel’s security barrier is a defensive measure undertaken by Israel to prevent Palestinian terrorists from reaching their civilian targets inside Israel.
The decision to build the barrier was made by the Government of Israel in 2002 following two years of unabated terrorism by Palestinians suicide bombers, who targeted Israeli buses, cafes, shopping centers and other gathering points for Israeli civilians. Over 1,000 Israelis were killed, and thousands severely injured in these attacks. Throughout this period, the Palestinian Authority did little-to-nothing to prevent these attacks or to abolish the terrorist infrastructure despite its commitment to do so in agreements with Israel. Israel had no choice but to take strong action to stop these terrorists from entering Israel from their operation centers in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Moreover, this barrier is not a “wall.” The approximately 450-mile security barrier, being constructed in phases, is comprised 90 percent of chain-link fence and 10 percent of a concrete barrier. The entire barrier is a multi-fence system which incorporates ditches, barbed wire, patrol roads and observation systems. Contrary to anti-Israel propaganda, only a very small section of the barrier is concrete, or can be described as “a wall.”
Most importantly, the security fence is helping to prevent terrorist bombings. Israeli security officials say that scores of attacks have been thwarted since 2003 as terrorists have been unable to reach Israeli cities, or have been forced to take more circuitous routes, leading to their capture.
The fence has caused hardship for the small number of Palestinians located on or near its route. This is primarily due to the population density and demographic complications that define the area. The Israeli Supreme Court has issued a number of rulings on the barrier’s route, ordering it changed in areas where it would lead to undue hardship for Palestinians. It is anticipated that further modifications to the route will continue to be made.