Skip to main content

Why Israel refuses to complete West Bank security fence

Israeli settlers and right-wing political parties fear that the West Bank security fence will serve as a proposed border line in future negotiations with the Palestinians.
Read in 

On June 6, the Knesset voted down for the third time a proposed bill by opposition lawmaker Omer Barlev of the Zionist Camp mandating completion of the barrier between Israel and the West Bank, which he views as vital for terrorism prevention. Opposition to the bill was led by the three main coalition parties: Likud, HaBayit HaYehudi and Yisrael Beitenu.

In explaining the bill he authored, Barlev said it was designed to force the government and the Defense Ministry to complete construction of the barrier within 18 months as a “national priority.” Although the bill specifically states that the sections of the barrier that would be built along some 100 kilometers (62 miles), as well as those already built, would only serve as a counterterrorism measure and “are not an expression of a different diplomatic border line,” the political right is convinced the bill has diplomatic and political significance. In other words, the right is concerned that an Israeli initiative of putting up a fence that separates West Bank settlements from Palestinian villages around them would constitute an official endorsement of a future border between Israel and a Palestinian state.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.