Despite widespread international opposition, Israel continues to use the Wall
and other elements of its ever-expanding settlement enterprise in the occupied
Palestinian territory to unilaterally impose its own final status vision on the
ground. The Wall, deemed illegal by the International Court of Justice, snakes
through Palestinian, and not Israeli, territory in order to sustain and
reinforce the vast majority of Israel’s settlements throughout the West Bank,
all of which are illegal under international law.
To further facilitate the expansion of Israeli settlements on Palestinian land,
on both sides of the Wall, Israel continues to construct a vast network of
settler highways connecting its illegal settlements to each other and to Israel,
while simultaneously imposing severe movement and access restrictions on the 2.4
million indigenous Palestinians who live in the West Bank.
The wall of Israel in the West Bank, Palestinian
The Israeli Ministry of
Defense recently published a revised
route of the Wall. The new Wall route is considerably worse than the
previous route, both in terms of its impact on the socioeconomic and
humanitarian situation of ordinary Palestinians and its long-term implications
for permanent status negotiations.
Whereas the previous route (April 2006) seized some 9.0% of West Bank territory,
the revised Wall route will now effectively annex 12% of the West Bank. The new
Wall route will incorporate two additional settlements, Nili and Na’aleh, with a
combined population of approximately 1,500, into the western side of the Wall.
As a result, some 20,000 Palestinians in five villages (Rantis, Shaqba, Qibya,
Budrus, and Ni’lin) will be almost completely surrounded by the Wall and other
settlement infrastructure and virtually cut off from the rest of the West Bank.
Among the most significant changes to the route of the Wall is its incorporation
of a large swath of Palestinian territory in the southeastern West Bank near the
Dead Sea, representing about 2.6% of the West Bank. In the process, the revised
route will incorporate one new settlement, Mitzpe Shalem (pop. ~200), as well as
portions of the Oslo-defined Nature Reserve (Area B). Despite these and other
changes in the route of the Wall, its purpose remains the same―to consolidate
Israeli control over the most critical parts of the occupied West Bank,
including all of Palestinian East Jerusalem and vital land and water resources,
all which severely undercuts prospects for establishing a viable, independent
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