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Photographer's Note

I shot this wall in Jerusalem. On the background you see the Jordan.

The Israeli West-Bank barrier is a barrier being constructed by the State of Israel, consisting of a network of fences with vehicle-barrier trenches surrounded by an on average 60 meters wide exclusion area (90%) and up to 8 meters high concrete walls (10%). It is located mainly on Israeli-occupied territories in the West Bank and partly along the 1949 Armistice line, or "Green Line" between Israel and Jordan which now demarcates the West Bank. As of April 2006, the length of the barrier as approved by the Israeli government is 703 kilometers (436 miles) long. Approximately 58.04% has been constructed, 8.96% is under construction, and construction has not yet begun on 33% of the barrier. The Jerusalem Post reported in July 2007 that the barrier may not be fully constructed until 2010, seven years after it was originally supposed to be completed.
The barrier is a highly controversial project. Supporters argue that the barrier is a necessary tool protecting Israeli civilians from Palestinian terrorism, including suicide bombing attacks, that increased significantly during the Al-Aqsa Intifada; it has been one major factor behind the significantly reduced number of incidents of suicide bombings from 2002 to 2005;[5]
Opponents to the barrier primarily object to the fact that the route does not strictly follow the Green Line, but substantially deviates into the occupied territories captured by Israel in the Six-Day War of 1967. They argue that the barrier is therefore an illegal attempt to annex Palestinian land under the guise of security, violates international law, has the intent or effect to pre-empt final status negotiations, and severely restricts Palestinians who live nearby, particularly their ability to travel freely within the West Bank and to access work in Israel. In a 2004 finding, the International Court of Justice declared that "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. Construction of the barrier is "contrary to international law."
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The idea of creating a physical barrier between the Israeli and Palestinian populations was first proposed by in 1992 by then-prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, following the murder of an Israeli teenage girl in Jerusalem. Rabin said that Israel must "take Gaza out of Tel Aviv", in order to minimize friction between the peoples. Following an outbreak of violent incidents in Gaza in October 1994, Rabin announced his stance that "we have to decide on separation as a philosophy. There has to be a clear border. Without demarcating the lines, whoever wants to swallow 1.8 million Arabs will just bring greater support for Hamas."[17]
The first section of the wall (mile long slab of concrete ) that stands as a barrier was constructed during Oslo accords negotiations in 1994. The section follows the border between Bat Hefer and Tulkarm communities. Following an attack on HaSharon Junction, near the city of Netanya, Rabin made his goals more specific:
This path must lead to a separation, though not according to the borders prior to 1967. We want to reach a separation between us and them. We do not want a majority of the Jewish residents of the state of Israel, 98% of whom live within the borders of sovereign Israel, including a united Jerusalem, to be subject to terrorism.
In early 1995, the Shahal commission was established by Yitzhak Rabin to discuss how to implement a barrier separating Israelis and Palestinians. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, prior to the Camp David 2000 Summit with Yasser Arafat, vowed to build a separation barrier, stating that it is "essential to the Palestinian nation in order to foster its national identity and independence without being dependent on the State of Israel".
Following a Palestinian violence outbreak in 2002, Israel began construction of a barrier that would separate most of the West Bank from areas inside Israel. The Israeli Supreme Court made reference to the conditions and history that led to the building of the barrier. In the September 2005 decision, it described the history of violence against Israeli citizens since the breakout of the Second Intifada and the loss of life that ensued on the Israeli side. The court ruling also cited the attempts Israel had made to defend its citizens, including "military operations" carried out against "terrorist acts", and stated that these actions...
...did not provide a sufficient answer to the immediate need to stop the severe acts of terrorism. . . . Despite all these measures, the terror did not come to an end. The attacks did not cease. Innocent people paid with both life and limb. This is the background behind the decision to construct the separation fence (Id., at p. 815)
Grassroots effort
In June 2001, a grass roots organization called "Fence for Life - The Public Movement for The Security Fence" began the grassroots effort for the construction of a continuous security fence. The movement was founded by people from all over Israel following the Dolphinarium discotheque suicide bombing.
The stated goal of the movement is to encourage the government to construct a security fence along Israel's borders. "Fence for Life" urged the government to build a continuous fence as speedily as possible, and without any connection to the political future of the areas it separates, with a goal of hermetically sealing off the Palestinian territories from Israeli population centers to prevent the terrorist acts by Palestinians against the people living in Israel.
The "Fence for Life" campaign emphasized that any security fence has no connection whatsoever to the political future of the settlements. The Movement for the Security Fence for Israel included protests, demonstrations, conferences with public figures, media blitzes, lobbying in the Knesset as well as legal battles in the High Court of Justice, both with demands to quickly build the security fence as well as appeals not to cause further delay in construction. The movement does not support any specific path for the barrier, as this is subject to a government decision. "Fence for Life" was of the opinion that "politicization" of the fence by various groups was delaying the completion of the security barrier and is likely to block its construction. At the end of 2002, due to government inaction, several localities who suffered the most from lack of a border barrier had started to build the barrier using their own funds directly on the green-line

Photo Information
  • Copyright: Serghei Pakhomoff (serp2000) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3724 W: 76 N: 5783] (46528)
  • Genre: People
  • Medium: Color
  • Date Taken: 2008-11-22
  • Categories: Daily Life
  • Exposure: f/9.0, 1/320 seconds
  • More Photo Info: view
  • Photo Version: Original Version
  • Date Submitted: 2009-11-03 0:28
Viewed: 8735
Points: 22
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Additional Photos by Serghei Pakhomoff (serp2000) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3724 W: 76 N: 5783] (46528)
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