Last updated on: 7/7/2015 7:58:56 AM PST
What Is the Israeli Barrier / Fence / Wall?


General Reference (not clearly pro or con)

Israeli Fence / Wall / Barrier as of July 2014

Source: United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OCHA oPt), "Barrier Portal," United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs website (accessed July 6, 2015)

Key: — Constructed Barrier — Barrier Under Construction

— Projected Barrier — Green Line [1949 Armistice Line]


July 2014 - United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OCHA oPt) 

Americans for Peace Now, the sister organization of Shalom Achshav, a non-governmental advocacy and activist group based in Israel, in the "Settlements 101" section of their website available at peacenow.org (accessed June 10, 2015), wrote:

"The Israeli government planned and constructed the barrier under heavy public pressure from Israelis who wanted an end to the phenomenon of cross-border Palestinian suicide bombers. The barrier sparked - and continues to spark - controversy, largely because it does not follow the route of the Green Line [1949 Armistice Line]. Instead, in many areas it dips deep into the West Bank, de facto annexing settlements, settlement blocs and adjoining land to Israel. The barrier has wide support within Israel, where it is seen as an important security measure that has succeeded in reducing terrorist attacks. Once completed, the barrier will extend from Beit Shean in the north to Arad in the south."

June 10, 2015 - Americans for Peace Now (APN) 

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OCHA oPt), in a July 9, 2014 report titled "10 Years Since the International Court of Justice (ICJ) Advisory Opinion," wrote:

"On 9 July 2004, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) issued an Advisory Opinion on the Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. The ICJ stated that the sections of the Barrier route which run inside the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, together with the associated gate and permit regime, violated Israel's obligations under international law. The ICJ called on Israel to cease construction of the Barrier 'including in and around East Jerusalem'; dismantle the sections already completed; and 'repeal or render ineffective forthwith all legislative and regulatory acts relating thereto.'

Ten years on, 62 per cent of the Barrier has been constructed, including 200 kilometres since the ICJ Advisory Opinion...

In 2002, the Government of Israel approved construction of a Barrier with the stated purpose of preventing violent attacks by Palestinians in Israel. The majority of the Barrier, both constructed and under construction - 445 Km - consists of fences, ditches, razor wire, groomed sand paths, an electronic monitoring system, patrol roads, and a buffer zone...


Around 70 Km of the Barrier both constructed and under construction consists of 8-9 metre high concrete slab segments which are connected to form a wall, particularly in urban areas such as Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Qalqiliya and Tulkarm.



  • 62% constructed, 10% under construction, 28% planned.

  • 712 Km more than twice the length of the Green Line (323 Km).

  • 85% of the barrier's route runs inside the West Bank.

  • 9.4% of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem and No-Man's Land will be isolated by the barrier.

  • 65 out of 150 Israeli settlements are on the 'Israeli side' of the barrier.

  • 150 Palestinian communities have land located between the Barrier and the Green Line...


Most Palestinian farmers are now obliged to obtain permits to access their farming land between the Barrier and the Green Line, which has been declared a 'closed area'. These permits are difficult to obtain. The approval rate in the northern West Bank is only 50 per cent over the last four years, according to OCHA monitoring...

For those granted permits, entry to the area between the Barrier and the Green Line is channelled through a gate, designated on the permit. In total, as of the 2013 olive harvest, there were 81 gates designated for agricultural access. However, of these, only nine open daily, and for limited hours. An additional nine open for some day(s) during the week in addition to the olive season. The majority, 63, only open during the olive season, prohibiting year-round access and cultivation...

  • 11,000 West Bank Palestinians are isolated between the Barrier and the Green Line.

  • If the Barrier is completed as planned, 25,000 more West Bank Palestinians will reside between the Barrier and the Green Line...

Most residents over 16 years of age [isolated between the Barrier and the Green Line] are obliged to apply for 'permanent resident' permits just to continue to live in their own homes. Most of these communities lack basic health, education and other services, including shops, obliging residents to pass through a checkpoint to reach workplaces and essential services and to maintain family and social relations with family and friends on the 'Palestinian side' of the Barrier."

July 9, 2014 - United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OCHA oPt) 

Dan Rothem, Senior Research Consultant for the S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace, wrote in his Nov. 4, 2011 article "How Israel's Security Barrier Affects a Final Border" in The Atlantic:

"During the height of the second intifadah (uprising), which lasted from 2000 to 2006, scores of Palestinian suicide bombers made their way largely uninterrupted into the heart of Israel, moving with relative ease from the West Bank into Israel's main cities. Growing Israeli public pressure to address the situation forced then-Israeli Prime Minster Ariel Sharon - who historically objected, on ideological and political grounds, to the concept of separation between Israel proper and the West Bank - to initiate construction of a physical barrier in and around the West Bank. A similar barrier has surrounded the Gaza Strip since 1994.

The vast majority of the Israeli barrier is comprised of an electronic fence surrounded by a detection path, patrol road, ditch, and barbed wires, spanning approximately 65-165 feet (20-50 meters) in width. In those areas where the barrier enters an urban setting, it turns into a stark concrete wall, which requires less land (only a few meters wide) and avoids the wide footprint of the fence.

The barrier is fully built and operational in those areas that are generally along the 1967 lines, and are therefore less controversial, as well as around East Jerusalem. (In total, the barrier has been constructed on or nearly two-thirds of the 1967 lines.) Around the large settlement blocs, where the route is more intrusive into the West Bank, the barrier largely remains in planning stages, unbuilt; construction there is frozen for a variety of reasons, including the relatively quiet security situation, lack of funding, objections by international actors, and Israeli court rulings. (Approximately 30 percent of the planned route has not been constructed yet)...

In terms of area, 8 percent equivalent of the Palestinian territories is located on the Israeli side of the projected barrier... In demographic terms, roughly 250,000 Palestinians (mostly in East Jerusalem) and 440,000 Jews (in West Bank settlements and in East Jerusalem) remain on its Israeli side, while roughly 75,000 Israelis in 74 settlements remain on its Palestinian side."

Nov. 4, 2011 - Dan Rothem