Israel announced the construction of a concrete barrier, which is to separate the internationally recognized territory of Israel from Palestinian territories. Israeli Defense Minister Binyamin Ben Eliezer said that “every extra day that passes without the fence being built could cost us more victims." Maybe this is true, but the minister forgot the fact that, if there was a wall between Israel and Palestine, then the fence would cut those Israeli citizens that live on the Palestinian territory off from their fatherland. Observers said that those Israeli citizens would become hostages to Arafat's unpredictable policy.
For the time being, the construction is just getting started: from Salem Junction in northern Israel south to a point northeast of Tel Aviv. It is planned to construct 360-kilometer-long barriers, up to four meters high. This fence will also include trenches, embankments, security cameras, high voltage wires, etc. The construction is scheduled for a year or so, and each kilometer of the wall will cost Israel nearly one million USD.
Right-wing political powers of Israel gave a hostile reception to the idea of such a fence. Yitzhak Levy of the National Religious Party claimed that the fence was not a defensive installation; he declared that it was a political trick. Israeli right-wing politicians believe that their wall will not save Israeli settlers from either Palestinian guerrillas or missiles, which are capable of hitting civilian and army objects at a distance of up to eight kilometers (both Hizbollah and Hamas have such missiles).
By the way, the idea of a defensive wall is not new: Israel has already built one in South Lebanon, but the wall never protected Jewish settlers: Hizbollah gunmen launch missiles on Jewish settlements regularly, proving the absurdity of another wall in Israel.
Israel’s left-wing parties support the idea of the fence, thinking that it is the best and even the only one way to protect Israelis from continual attacks of Palestinian suicidal terrorists. Furthermore, they insist on the liquidation of small Jewish settlements on the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip, since there is no possibility to protect them.
The BBC reported that many Arab politicians treat the idea of the wall negatively as well. Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher claimed that Israel would obtain security only under the condition of a reliable political peace with Palestine. One of Yasser Arafat’s ministers said almost the same, claiming that Israel’s actions were racist: “This wall will become a barrier only for Palestinians, because it will limit their freedom of movement, but it will not stop Israelis from penetrating into Palestinian territories.”
Less than 33% of Israeli people believe that the wall will help to considerably reduce the number of Palestinian attacks on the civilian population of the country. Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon declared on June 19 that the plan of “technical delimitation” will be submitted at a special session of the security cabinet.
Dmitry Litvinovich PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov