FactSheet - The so-called ‘Security Wall’
January 31, 2003
The plan authorized on June 23rd 2002 and expected to be completed by June 23rd 2003. This wall will include electrical fences, trenches and security patrols. Three parts of the wall include: a northern section, a section for Jerusalem and a southern section and is projected to run the whole 360-km of the West Bank.
The wall shall not be built within its de-facto international borders. It shall be built within the West Bank, upon seized privately owned Palestinian lands and shall annex approximately 10% of the West Bank to Israel.
This wall will illegally annex 57 settlements inhabiting 303,000 Israeli settlers. About 384,918 Palestinians shall be illegally annexed to Israel, hemmed into the wall. However, Palestinians unlawfully transferred to the direct control of the Israeli State will not be granted residential status or citizenship, while Israeli settlers already enjoy full Israeli citizenship.
The wall will annex some of the most fertile lands and water sources, including in Qalqilya: the Western Aquifer system, providing 51% of the West Banks water resources as well as14 water wells in the city – some 30% of the city’s water resources.
The Northern part:
- Will run from Salem to Kfar Qassem, south of Qalqilya shall be approximately 110 km long.
- It is estimated that 1.6% of the West Bank, through this part of the wall shall be illegally confiscated and annexed to Israel. With 17 Palestinian villages separated into four different cantons. (land between the wall and Israel proper is a closed military zone)
- Rumaneh, al-Taybeh and Anin will fall between two walls close to Jenin and make up the first Bantustan with a population of 8,560.
- Nazlat ‘Issa, al-Baqa al-Sharqiyya and Barta al-Sharkiyya make up the second Bantustan with a population of 9,342.
- Tulkarem and Irtah, Izbet Shoufa, Kirbet Jabara and Faroun with a population of 45,179 Palestinians shall also be illegally annexed to Israel and surrounded by trenches to ensure their separation.
- The Forth includes Qalqilya, Hable, Ras al-Tireh, Khan Nabi ilyas, Izbat Jaloud and Ras Attiyeh, they will be completely surrounded by the wall with only one exist and entrance point, a population of 47,992.
- All Palestinian property within 60 - 100 meters of the wall shall, or has been destroyed, particularly agricultural or cultivated lands[i] and trees. Qalqilya shall be deprived of at least 15% of its municipal lands and more than 50% of its agricultural land, placing increasing pressure on a fast growing population.
- Illegal Israeli settlements shall all become a part of Israel proper.
The wall around southern the West Bank (including Jerusalem):
The expected length of the southern part of the apartheid wall of 215 km will “result in Israel’s de facto annexation of 400 square kilometers (approximately 7% of the Occupied West Bank) of which more than one third is located in east Jerusalem.” This part of the wall shall annex 39 illegally built Israeli settlements to Israel, with some 270,000 settlers, and approximately 276,000 Palestinians.
Israel has confiscated some 700 dunums in order to build this southern part of the wall, with aim to envelope as many illegal Israeli settlement blocks built in east Jerusalem and the West Bank, while excluding as many Palestinians as possible. A 54 km stretch covering metropolitan Jerusalem has already been approved.
However, the planned wall for Jerusalem will not only cover further illegally annexed land inhabited by 180,000 illegal Israeli settlers. It shall also include some 276,000 Palestinians. “In order to resolve this “demographic” problem.”
Impact of Israel’s wall: (Closure, curfew and economic concerns)
- Israel’s army has consistently maintained in all legal challenges to the apartheid wall that special permits shall be issued for fenced in Palestinians. Israel’s long history in using a system of permits shows a systematic abuse of this measure, consistently used as a tool of collective punishment under the all-embracing pretext of ‘security concerns.’
- This form of collective punishment will lead to widespread unemployment, poverty and hunger; denying access to education, health services and religious worship.
- The most punishing impact on closure and curfew, which shall only increase with Israel’s apartheid wall, hemming in Palestinians into Bantustans, is poverty and hunger. ‘Gazafication’ of Palestinians hemmed into Bantustans, whereby Palestinians caught in the wall will be hermetically sealed from both Israel and the West Bank, reliant on Israel to ensure their freedom of movement and their right to livelihood.
- The Physical safety of Palestinians is a major concern with restrictions of freedom of movement or access to agricultural lands.
- The existence of a closed military zone where Palestinians shall reside raises serious concerns that such people shall be targets for trigger-happy soldiers, with no access to appeal, let alone international monitors, the international media, or other means of possibly forcing Israeli soldiers to act with less impunity.
The nature of military orders used to seize lands:
- These military orders are based on the Hague regulations whereby occupying powers assume ‘temporary’ administration of ‘publicly’ owned lands. Relying on past precedent, military orders to illegally confiscate lands is permanent.
- A security wall, including electrified fences, walls, trenches and checkpoints implies both a permanent infrastructure and a permanent structure
- In the late 1960s and 70s, military orders such as these were used to seize lands to build illegal settlements and by-pass roads on the pretext of ‘security’ needs.
- Military orders to ‘seize’ Palestinian-owned land in the West Bank have been consistently premised on the basis of an overall strategy of strengthening the Occupation.
- Human rights have been sacrificed to security. This in turn produces a greater threat to Israeli security: the hopelessness of despair which leads inexorably to suicide bombings and other acts of violence against Israelis.”
The Wall in accordance to International law and agreements signed:
- The military orders and the construction of the wall violate basic principles of international human rights and humanitarian law. Israel has exceeded any legitimate powers of an occupying power under international humanitarian law by exercising more than a temporary, administrative role in its permanent confiscation of land and annexation of property within occupied territories for construction of the wall.
- Hague Regulations 1907 including article 53 which states: “An army of occupation can only take possession of cash, funds, and realizable securities which are strictly the property of the State, depots of arms, means of transport, stores and supplies, and generally all moveable property belonging to the state which may be used for military operations.
- Article 55: “The occupying State shall be regarded only as administrator and usufructuary of public buildings, real estate, forests, and agricultural estates belonging to the hostile State, and situated in the occupied country. It must safeguard the capital of these properties, and administer them in accordance with the rules of usufruct.” Article 46: Private property can not be confiscated.
- The Israeli occupying power must balance any security concerns with the interests of the Palestinian protected persons. In this respect, the apartheid wall is a wholly disproportionate, as well as unlawful measure. Moreover, Israel has not been able to explain or justify the destruction and confiscation of land and property within the occupied territory instead of within Israel’s own sovereign territory.
- Destruction and confiscation of land effectively punishes the entire population, International and humanitarian law prohibits collective punishment.
- Under the Fourth Geneva Convention, to which Israel is a signatory, destruction of property in occupied territories is forbidden under Article 53. It constitutes collective punishment, which is explicitly prohibited by Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention. It further constitutes extra-judicial punishment and arbitrary interference with home and property. (A war crime)
- Illegal confiscation and annexation of land violates the general principle under international law of inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force, as reaffirmed by UN Security Council Resolution 242
Israel PLO agreements:
- 'Oslo II' of September 28, 1995, provides that 'neither side shall initiate or take any step that will change the status of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip pending the outcome of the permanent status negotiations'.
Why this is an Apartheid Wall: (conclusion)
- This wall designed to divide the population along racial lines by creation of separate reserves and ghettos for the members of a racial group; separation of Palestinian families/communities; controls on freedom of movement through the system of ID cards, curfews and closures; expropriation of landed property.
- Expropriation of landed property: Land seizures clearly fall upon racial lines in building this wall. Land is only being taken from Palestinian Arabs - not Israeli Jews –in illegal settlements built on seized Palestinian lands in the West Bank.
- Palestinians residing in the West Bank shall be dispossessed of thousands of dunums of land, including agricultural lands, in many cases, the backbone of their livelihoods.
- All persons trapped between the so-called “security-wall” and Israel or the West Bank are entirely Palestinian. It thus appears that ethnic-religious motives drove the choice of localities to place between the wall and Israel/West Bank.
- Through seizing prime agricultural lands to be used to either build the wall or as buffer zones, Israel is creating tiny cantons between the wall and Israel/West Bank. This will be significantly deprived of land and other resource access.
- On a larger scale, Palestinian Arabs will be unable to move easily from behind the wall, but Israeli settlers, living in colonial outposts all over the West Bank will not be similarly affected. Thus, the wall effectively separates two ethnic-religious groups, to the distinct disadvantage, and collective punishment of one of these groups.
- Israel’s apartheid wall clearly enforces controls on freedom of movement. The special permit system, combined with closures and curfews shall be used punitively, as demonstrated by clear precedence in the West Bank and Gaza strip, particularly throughout the latest Intifada.