Status report-legal aspects of the Security Fence

39 petitions concerning the Security Fence are still pending to be examined by the Supreme Court. 28 of them consist of objections to the planned route of the Security Fence:

  • 3 of them concern the already existing fence in the area of Alfei Menashe
  • 7 of them deal with the fence in Jerusalem
  • 6 of them object to the route between Elkana to Jerusalem
  • 6 of them concern the planned route in Gush Etzion
  • 2 of them concern the planned route between- Jaba- Shomriya
  • 2 of them concern the planned route from Metzadot Yehudah to the Hever spring
  • 2 of them concern the planned route in Maale Adomim
Two other petitions deal with 2 crossings: the Lamed Hei (Jaba) Crossing and the Ramot Crossing.
9 other petitions refer to humanitarian issues.
So far, 102 petitions have been dealt with by the Supreme Court.



Status report- legal aspects of the Security Fence

41 petitions concerning the Security Fence are still pending to be examined by the Supreme Court.
31 of them consist of objections to the planned route of the Security Fence:

  • 9 of them deal with the fence in Jerusalem
  • 6 of them object the route between Elkana to Jerusalem
  • 6 - concern the the planned route in Gush Etzion
  • 2 of them concern the planned route between- Jaba- Shomriya
  • 3 concern the protective fence between Shomriya and Metzadot Yehuda
  • 2 concern Maale Adomim
One other petition deals with the Lamed Hei (Jaba) Crossing.
9 other petitions refer to humanitarian issues.
So far, 96 petitions have been dealt with by the Supreme Court.



Go ahead to Jerusalem's Security Fence

"Route of the Security Fence in Jerusalem is legal and is based on security considerations". This was the jurisdiction of nine Supreme Court judges.

Accordingly, construction of the Security Fence between Har Adar and Maale Hachamisha resumed today, November 26th 2006, based on the Supreme Court's jurisdiction defining it as a legal security provision. The Supreme Court rejected appeals of Bir Naballah and Beit Chanina residents and stated that the route chosen is propotional and takes into consideration both security and humanitarian concerns. Construction work resumed after a one year cessation during which the issue was thoroughly checked by the court.



Status report- legal aspects of the Security Fence

58 petitions concerning the Security Fence are to be examined by the Supreme Court.
47 of them consist of objections to the planned route of the Security Fence:

  • 16 of them deal with the fence in Jerusalem
  • 14- the route between Elkana to Jerusalem
  • 3 concerning Ariel "fingers"
  • 6- Gush Etzion
  • 1- Jaba- Shomriya
  • 2 Protective fence between Shomria and Metzadot Yehuda
  • 2 Maale Adomim
  • 2 Metzadot Yehuda- the Dead Sea
One other petition deals with the Lamed Hei (Jaba) Crossing.
10 other petitions refer to humanitarian issues.
So far, 76 petitions have been dealt by the Supreme Court.



Revised route of the Security Fence

The cabinet decided Sunday, April 30th 2006 to change the route of the Security Fence in several areas.
Interim Prime Minister Ehud Olmert termed the changes as very important and reinstated the importance of completing the Security Fence as quickly as possible as a crucial element in the war against Palestinian terror.

The changes are:

  • Ariel area- creation of two thin settlement blocks (instead of one) leaving some 40,000 Palestinians outside the fence. Israelis living in Ariel, karnei Shomron and Kdumim will be able to travel safely to Raanana and Kfar Saba whereas Palestinians will be able to move freely to the east and to the north.
  • The route of the already constructed fence in Alfei Menashe will be changed leaving three clusters of houses in Ras a Tira, A-Dabaa and Wadi Rasha outside the fence, on the Palestinian side.
  • Beit Iksa near Jerusalem's Ramot neighborhood will be left outside the fence.
  • The Palestinian village, Jaba which over looks the Gush Etzion Elah road, will be inside the fence with a crossing built to allow residents of Jaba to travel to the nearby Palestinian town Tzurif.
  • Eshkolot and Metzadot Yehuda in the southern Hebron Hills will be inside the fence however quarries will be left out.
  • The route from Metzadot to Har Choled, has been approved
The cabinet also decided that the Police will be responsible for the "Jerusalem Envelope".



Status report

335 km of the Security Fence have been completed and are operational.
Work is progressing apart from sections that are still under legal proceedings.

Route under legal review
55 petitions concerning the route of the Security Fence are waiting for the ruling of the High Court of Justice.

  • 17 of them refer to the "surrounding Jerusalem section of the Security Fence.
  • 15 of them refer to the route from Elkana to Jerusalem.
  • 6 of them refer to the Ariel "fingers", including Beit Arieh-Ofarim.
  • 7 of them refer to Gush Etzion
  • 3 of them refer to the route from Jabaa to Shomriah
  • 3 of them refer to the fence from Shomriah to Mezadot Yehuda
  • 1 refers to the route in the area of Susia
  • 3 of them refer to Maa'le Adomim.
There are some more relevant petititons:
  • 1 petititon refers to the Lamed Hei (Jabba) Crossing
  • 2 petitions refer to general issues (permits policy)
  • 7 petitions refer to sections where the fence has already been completed.
55 petitions have been dealt with and conluded so far, either in legal procedures or after mutual consent has been reached.
Several petitions concerning entry permits, including to the Jerusalem area have been dealt with and some are waiting to be concluded.
1 petition concerning the location of observation systems has been resolved as were 3 petitions requesting extension of objection period.



Status report

300 km have been completed and are operational.
143 km are under construction.
58 km are about to enter construction phase.

Route under legal review:

  • 26 km awaiting ruling by the High Court of Justice.
  • 76 km in legal procedures resulting from appeals presented by land owners.
  • 7 km in Jerusalem are under consideration of the Appeal Committee adjunct to the District Court in Tel Aviv.
  • 124 km awaiting approval by the Ministry of Justice.



Construction of the Security Fence near Maccabim-Reut

The High Court of Justice rejected two petitions protesting for opposite reasons the route of the Security Fence between Maccabim-Reut and the Palestinian village of Beit Sira and lifted the interim injunction blocking construction.
A panel of three justices headed by Supreme Court President Aharon Barak ruled that the route of the fence properly balanced the security needs of the Israeli population and the quality of life and well-being of the Palestinians.
"We are satisfied that in the circumstances the decisions of the military commander fell within the realm of reasonability pertinent to these issues", wrote Barak. "The military commander's decision came after he had weighed all of the relevant information and in accordance with the standards established by this court in the guideline decisions it has handed down in connection with the fence".
Barak wrote that in establishing the new fence route, "it is obvious that the state made an effort to reduce the harm to the Palestinian residents, while at the same time trying to achieve its security goals".
Accordingly, work in this section which has been held back, will resume.



Status report

275 km of the Security Fence have been completed and are operational. 150 km are in an advanced construction stage. Planning of 83 km has been completed and work is about to commence.
The route concerning another 100 km is being evaluated by various legal authorities and almost 150 km more are in a process of staff work and planning.
The Security Fence is operational along a continuous route of 200 km from Tirat Zvi in the north to Elkana in the center. There are some tens of kms in different areas- Offer- Elkana, Jaba- Shomriya and in the Jerusalem area itself that have been completed but due to statutory and legal procedures, there is no continuity.
According to plan, the Security Fence in Jerusalem (60 km) will be operational by the end of 2005 and in the first quarter of 2006, the section from Shomriya toward Mezudot Yehuda (43 km) will become operational as well.



Status report- legal aspects of the Security Fence

48 petitions concerning the Security Fence are to be examined by the Supreme Count.

16 of these petitions deal with the fence in the Jerusalem area. Five more deal with humanitarian issues such as permits policy, opening hours of the agricultural gates etc.

So far, 43 petitions have been concluded. Mostly after reaching an agreement with the plaintiff who with drew the petition.



The Supreme Court and the ICJ

Israel has the right to build the Security Fence beyond the "Green Line" in order to protect Israeli settlements and Israeli citizens. This principled ruling was given unanimously, by a panel of nine justices of the Supreme Court which handed down their judgement on a petition dealing with the legality of the security fence in the area of Alfei Menashe.

The Court was convinced that the reason behind the decision to erect the fence was not a political one. The decision to erect the fence which was made in June 2002, was made in light of the severe terrorism situation which has plagued Israel since September 2000. Security-military considerations prevented building the fence on the Green Line. The Court reached the conclusion that the reason behind building the fence is the security consideration of preventing infiltration by terrorists into Israel and into Israeli communities in the Judea and Samaria area such as Alfei Menashe.

The Court determined that constructing the fence on the Green Line would leave Alfei Menashe on the eastern side of the fence, vulnerable to terrorist attacks. Any route of the fence must take into account the need to provide security to the Israeli residents of Alfei Menashe. However, the Court ordered the state to reconsider the existing route, and to examine the possibility of removing the enclave villages - all of them, or some of them - from the "Israeli" side of the fence putting to test the criteria of proportionality.

Thus, the Court issued an order absolute, in the following sense: the state must, within a reasonable period, reconsider the various alternatives for the fence route at Alfei Menashe, while examining security alternatives which injure the daily lives of the residents of the Palestinian villages in the enclave to a lesser extent.

On the principle dimension the Supreme Court exmined the extent to which the Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice at the Hague affects the approach of the Supreme Court of Israel regarding the legality of the fence according to international law.

It was held that the Court shall grant full weight to the rules of international law, as developed and interpreted by the ICJ, which is the highest judicial body in international law. In contrast, the ICJ's conclusion, based upon a different factual basis, is not res judicata and does not obligate the Supreme Court of Israel to determine that all segments of the fence violate international law.

Maj. Gen (Ret) Amos Yaron, Director General of the Ministry of Defense dedicated his last day in office to tour the Security Fence in the Jerusalem area.
Maj. Gen (Ret) Amos Yaron

Maj. Gen (Ret) Amos Yaron, Director General of the Ministry of Defense dedicated his last day in office to tour the Security Fence in the Jerusalem area. Driving himself along the newly paved road he promised that the entire Security Fence would be completed by the end of the year.
"All of the fence from Tirat Zvi in the north until Yatir, Metzudot Yehoda after Arad in the south, all of this section will be completely finished by the end of this year- in other words, in another three or four months."
Yaron added that there were a few small sections that were still under judiciary review by the high court of justice, but in those sections the IDF will provide the necessary security solution.
At a certain point in the tour, many of the contractors building the fence held a mini farewell ceremony. They handed him a model of a D9 buldozer with a dedication to the tough, strong and opinionated Director General who knew how to step out of his office and solve on the spot problems, pushing forward like a bulldozer.
Yaron thanked the contractors and the many people present saying: " A lot of groups have a part in erecting this exemplary barrier which may not give a total answer to terror, but is certainly a significant answer to the war against terror."

Maj. Gen (Ret) Amos Yaron, checking the route on the map
The security fence in construction
Har Adar Security Fence

The High Court of Justice rejected a petition submitted by 24 Palestinian villages requesting the court to issue an interim injunction to freeze construction of the Security Fence between Har Adar and Beit Surik. In the new petition, the residents also asked the court to reject part of the revised land seizure order for the construction of the fence.
The petitioners said the new route expropriates 200 dunams of agricultural land for the fence and separates the villagers from 1000 dunams more which will be located on the Israeli side of the fence. They charged that the route of the fence on the eastern side of Har Adar trespasses into the west bank in order to include the land on the Israeli side.

Israel's response to the ICJ advisory opinion on the Security Fence

The following is a summary of the State of Israel's response to the ICJ advisory opinion of July 9th 2004 on the Security Fence. The complete statement was presented to the High Court of Justice on February 23rd 2005.

1. Israeli law provides that any administrative decision of the state is subject to judicial review by the Israel Supreme Court sitting as the High Court of Justice. The court can be petitioned by any affected party, including any Israeli or Palestinian. Many, if not most, of the measures taken by Israel in its fight against terrorism have been challenged before the Court by Palestinians or by Israeli human rights groups. On many occasions the court has required the state to change its policies as a result of such petitions.

2. Since Israel commenced construction of the security fence, in 2002, over 70 petitions have been submitted to the High Court of Justice on the issue. A significant number of these have resulted in changes to the route of the fence, or the humanitarian arrangements accompanying its construction, either as a result of rulings by the court, or as a resulted of arrangements negotiated between the two sides.

3. In one recent petition, relating to building of the security fence in the area of the villages of Boudrus and Shukba, the petitioners made reference to the Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice regarding Israel's security fence (Legal Consequences, Advisory Opinion, ICJ Reports 2004, p. 136). In making a temporary order in the case, the President of Israel's Supreme Court invited the State to offer its views on the Advisory Opinion reached by the International Court of Justice.

4. On 23 February 2005, the State of Israel submitted its Response to the cases, which also analyzed the views of the State regarding the ramifications of the Advisory Opinion and offered a comprehensive legal position regarding the factual and legal basis for the construction of the fence.

Factual and legal background to the construction of the fence 5. The decision to construct the fence was a direct response to the terror attacks against Israel which began in September 2000. These attacks caused the terror to become perceived as a strategic threat upon Israel. For example, in the month of March 2002 alone, 135 Israelis were killed and 721 were injured in terrorist attacks. The response emphasizes that the fence is a temporary security measure is not intended to annex territory or to predetermine the political border of Israel. No changes have, in fact, been made to the boundaries which remain subject to negotiation between the parties.

6. The fence has proven to be quite effective. According to a study compiled by the Israel Security Agency (see "Four Years of Conflict") the fence has deeply effected the ability of terrorists to carry out attacks, thwarted suicide bombings and has led to a dramatic decline in the number of Israeli casualties and wounded, despite the fact that the fence has yet to be completed. For example, in the period between August 2003 through August 2004, there was a dramatic decrease of 84% in the number of Israelis killed by terror attacks as compared with the period between September 2001 through July 2002. The security fence remains important even in the current atmosphere of Israel carrying on a dialogue with the Palestinian Authority.

7. A majority of the fence is situated, for security reasons, in the West Bank, but it also runs inside Israel. Israel recognizes that the fence impacts on the residents of the area, both those who have had property seized for the purpose of the construction of the fence, and those who live and work in its proximity. The challenge facing Israel is to find the appropriate balance between the obligation to protect the lives of the citizens and residents of Israel from terror, and the obligation to limit, as much as is possible, the negative effect upon Palestinian residents as a result of the construction of the fence.

8. In the Response, the State argues that the construction of the fence is consistent both with international law and Israeli domestic law, as interpreted by Israel's High Court of Justice in its most significant case dealing with the fence to date, H.C. 2056/04 Bet Sourik Village Council v. Government of Israel ("Bet Sourik"). It analyses the facts of the two current cases to see if they meet with the tests of Bet Sourik.

9. In the current cases, orders were issued to seize property in the area near the "Green Line". In both cases the deviation east of the "Green Line" is relatively marginal and is necessitated by security considerations alone due to the topographical circumstances in the area. In the area of Boudrus a significant portion of the fence runs through Israel. In order to allow access for farmers to tend the few dozen olive trees that remain west of the fence, agricultural gates will be built and access will be permitted. The owners of the land were offered both compensation (use fees) for the land and compensation for the replanting of the trees moved east of the fence. In both cases there will be no Palestinian residents west of the fence and the total land West Bank area remaining west of the fence will be minimal.

10. In the view of the State, the balance struck in the routing of the fence is consistent is consistent with the legal tests regarding military necessity and proportionality as determined in Bet Sourik. These are proportional effects, less than the significant security benefits which would be achieved by the construction of the fence. Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice

11. The second part of the response considers the Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice in The Hague. The response argues that the Advisory Opinion is not relevant to the two cases before the Court. This conclusion is based upon detailed analysis of the Advisory Opinion and its findings.

12. It will be recalled that Israel did not consent to the hearing of this issue before the International Court of Justice. The position of Israel was, and remains, that the issue which the Advisory Opinion deals with was not appropriate for consideration by an international legal forum.

13. Despite its position of principle, and despite the fact that the Advisory Opinion is not binding, and does not create international law, Israel has not ignored the Advisory Opinion, and has carefully considered its impact on a range of issues.

14. Israel recognizes that the International Court of Justice is an important international tribunal. Thus, despite the criticism of the State of Israel towards the conclusions of the Advisory Opinion and the procedures which led to its findings, Israel recognizes that a detailed consideration of the legal ramifications of the Advisory Opinion, and a consideration of its impacts, is appropriate even if it remains non-binding in nature.

15. The State of Israel's analysis of the findings of the Advisory Opinion falls into two parts: the factual considerations upon which the Advisory Opinion is based and the normative basis, the legal background, for consideration of the status of the fence.

16. The primary factual basis for the writing of the Advisory Opinion was a series of reports written primarily in 2003 by various United Nations officials and special rapporteurs regarding the fence. This factual basis before the Court, and especially the facts upon which the Court chose to reach its conclusions, were general, inexact and unbalanced. Among the crucial omissions, the Response notes that the information offered almost no consideration of the terror attacks against Israel, the military necessity in the construction of the fence, the balancing of considerations taken during the planning of the route or of the obligation to protect the lives of the citizens and residents of the State of Israel from terror attacks.

17. As regards the route of the fence, the Response notes that the information which the Court relied upon did not consider separately the different sections of the route and thus did not allow the Court to balance the various considerations regarding each section of the fence. The Advisory Opinion itself considered the fence as a single entity. As a result, inexact and outdated figures regarding some sections of the fence led to an overarching rejection of the entire hundreds of kilometers of the route. It was inappropriate to accept an overarching conclusion regarding the whole route of the fence without a detailed discussion regarding the various sections.

18. The construction of the fence demanded a consideration of the balance between the security needs of the citizens of Israel and the negative impact upon the Palestinian residents. The lack of complete information, especially in regard to the military necessity could not allow for a reasonable factual or legal analysis of the circumstances which entailed a conflict between two competing interests.

19. Additionally, the reports that were submitted to the International Court of Justice purported to represent the factual situation on the date of their writing, the period near the end of 2003. Since that time, material changes in the route have been made, including an improvement in the meeting the challenges relating to providing for the fabric of life of residents living near the fence. It should be remembered that the first sections of the fence, on which the Court centered much of its consideration, were built "amidst the heat of the conflict", when the need to block terror attacks was especially acute. Now, with the partial limiting of terror attacks and as part of a continuing learning process, significant changes have been made to the existing route and in future routes being planned. These changes have also been implemented on the areas in the route that the ICJ emphasized.

20. An additional factor was the verdict in Bet Sourik, which led to wide changes in the route of the fence and to an improvement in the consideration of the fabric of life of Palestinian residents. Therefore, the factual basis that the International Court of Justice considered is no longer relevant. The changes in the route are exemplified by the Government of Israel's decision of 20 February 2005 which determined a revised routing of the fence. This route is materially different from the route that the Advisory Opinion considered, and it significantly reduces negative impact on the residents of the area. For example, the Palestinian presentation to the ICJ claimed that over 43.5% of the West Bank would be on the Israeli side of the barrier. The ICJ itself determined that 16.6% would be on the Israeli side. In fact, following the recent decision of the Government, less then 8% of the area of the West Bank will be so affected.

21. Following a consideration of the factual background described in the Advisory Opinion, the response considered the normative basis, the areas of international law, considered by the International Court of Justice in the Advisory Opinion. This analysis centered on tenets within the Law of Occupation and the Law of Armed Conflict. It also considered the various human rights treaties that Israel is a party to and Israel's inherent right of self defense, and its impact on the construction of the fence.

22. An analysis of the legal framework used by the ICJ to reach its ruling regarding the legality of the fence shows that this framework was similar to the framework considered by Israel's High Court of Justice. The matters in which the Advisory Opinion sometimes differed from this framework or the positions reached by Israeli Courts were not relevant to the cases now before the Court.

23. It is the position of the State of Israel that the factual background before the Court when it wrote the Advisory Opinion was lacking, inexact and now irrelevant in a manner that preclude its overarching conclusions that the entire route of the fence within the West Bank was in violation of international law from having any application upon the cases before the High Court of Justice and these cases should be decided based upon the factual and normative bases that have been developed by Israel's Supreme Court as exemplified in the Bet Sourik case.

The route of the Security Fence approved by the Government

The route of the Security Fence approved today, February 20th 2005 by the Government reflects a thorough and intensive work conducted by the IDF and the Ministry of Defense to implement the principles stated by the Israeli Supreme Court in its Bet Surik ruling of June 30th 2004.

As a result, the new route reflects the proportionality between Security requirements and humanitarian needs.

DCO opens an office in the Jerusalem area

The statement "every effort has and will be made to minimize the infringements on the daily life of the Palestinian population resulting from the construction of the Security Fence" is constantly backed by the activities and assistance provided by the Civil Administration in Judea and Samaria.

Last Thursday, December 30th 2004, The Civil Administration opened a new District Coordinating Office (DCO) to assist Palestinians living in the Jerusalem area affected by the construction of the Security Fence. This is the ninth office of its kind in the West Bank and it is located in the Rama base south of Ramallah.

Operations will focus on assisting the 110,000 Palestinians living in Abu Dis and Eizariya, in the areas east of Jerusalem and Kalandiya, A Ram and Bir Naballah to the north , areas where the fence in now being completed. The office will deal with issues concerning education, religion, employment, humanitarian assistance and will coordinate entry of Palestinians into Jerusalem.

High Court Rejects Um Tuba Petition

The High Court of Justice rejected on Wednesday, November 24th 2004 a petition by residents of Um Tuba and Tzur Baher neighborhood in east Jerusalem against the alignment of the Security Fence in the southeastern part of Jerusalem.

A panel of three justices rejected the petition demanding that the Security Fence be shifted eastward on the grounds that the government had already scrapped one route in the area out of consideration of the villagers' needs.
The petitioners had not participated in the negotiations held between the MOD/ IDF and the village representatives and presented their petition only after an agreement was reached between the two parties.
This ruling will enable the MOD to resume work on the disputed section.

Another terror attack foiled

Another terror attack intended to take place in Afula was foiled by the Israeli Security Forces, the IDF and the Israeli Police, while credit must also be given to Security Fence.

31 year old, Zaal Abahara, from the Palestinian village El Yamoun was arrested in the Arab- Israeli village, Dir Chana, having been found without a legal entry permit. The man managed to smuggle in 7kg of explosives, hidden in an olive grove near the village of Mrar in the Galillee.
The suicide bomber, a fifteen year old boy from Yamoun was arrested near Ramallah together with his two accomplices.

The existence of the Security Fence from the Gilboa to Elkana forced the planners of this suicide attack to make a long detour trying to enter Israel through the Jerusalem area where there is no fence. This long detour facilitated the capture of the suicide bomber before he could carry out his deadly plan.

The Security Fence and the terrorist attack at the Kalandia checkpoint
IDF Spokesperson announcement    17/08/2004

On August 11, 2004, at approximately 13:00, an explosive device, weighing 15 KG, was detonated at the Kalandia checkpoint, near Ramallah. The explosion caused Palestinian casualties and the injuries of six border police soldiers, three of them seriously.

In the past few days since the terrorist attack, the members of the terrorist cell responsible for planning and executing the terror attack were arrested in a joint operation of the IDF the GSS and the Israeli police.

Several hours after the terror attack the terrorist Bassam Mustaffa Asad Abid, a 29 years old taxi driver was arrested in Rammallah. His investigation revealed information which led to the arrest of the terrorist Mohammed Fathy Div Ayosh, 27 years old, on July 12. Both Abid and Ayosh are residents of the Arabe village, located next to Jenin.

The third member of the terrorist cell, Wail Nabil Mahmud Nairat, 29 years old from the Mitalun village in Samaria, was arrested on the morning of July 13 during a complex intelligence operation, and was discovered hiding in the 'Aven Javil' mosque in A-Ram neighborhood.

The investigation of the members of the terrorist cell reveals that they were directed by the terrorists Mahmud Asad Abu Halifa, 25, and Zacaria Zbeidi, 28, both wanted members of Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, a part of the Fatah organization in Jenin. Both of them transferred the explosive device used in the terror attack, and guided Wail Nairat, who activated the device.

The members of the terrorist cell planned to smuggle Wail Nairat to Haifa in order to carry out a mass terror attack in the 'Talpiot" market in the city. Nairat was guided to carry out the attack in another central city inside Israel, if he failed to reach Haifa.

Basam Abid drove the terrorist- Wail Nairat in his taxi, and behind him traveled the taxi in which the explosive device was hidden under a carton of vegetables. The taxi with Wail drove first, in order to alert the taxi behind of IDF forces and checkpoints along the way.

The taxis traveled west in the direction of Tul-Karem, passed through Atil and from there continued on the Ramallah bypass road to A-Ram, a route dictated by the existence of the Security Fence.

The convoy moved from Jenin to A-Ram taking advantage of the easements put into place by the IDF in order to enable the Palestinian population to lead a normal daily life. Furthermore, members of the terrorist cell purchased a baby carriage in order to hide the explosive device inside. Basam and Mohammed rented a vehicle to transport the terrorist- Wail Nairat and the explosive device to Haifa from the Kalandia checkpoint, and loaded the explosive device as well as the baby carriage into the vehicle.

While they were getting ready to leave Kalandia, an alert was passed to the Israeli security forces in the area of a terrorist cell in the area which was planning to carry out a terror attack within Israel.

A swift response of the IDF, the GSS and the Israeli Police led to a massive deployment of forces in the north of Jerusalem, meant to prevent the terrorist cell from getting away and reaching Israel.

Seeing the deployment of the forces in the area, the terrorists understood they would not be able to carry out a terror attack inside Israel, and thus laid the explosive device inside the baby carriage as they were approaching the Kalandia checkpoint. As border policemen at the checkpoint approached the baby carriage, the terrorists activated the explosive device. As a result of the explosion six Israeli border policeman and three Palestinians were injured.

Mohammed Aiush, driver of the second taxi, fled the area of the terror attack hiding among wounded Palestinians whom he transported in his taxi to a Ramallah hospital. Wail Nairat took advantage of the situation as well, transporting a young Palestinian woman who was injured in the attack to a clinic in A-Ram.

Later, they were arrested by security forces. Once again the existence of the Security Fence prevented a major terror attack and loss of innocent lives.

The Anti Terrorist Fence and the International Court of Justice

Israel, along with many democracies feels the International Court of Justice is not the right forum for discussing Israel's response to the Palestinian terror, namely, the Anti Terrorist Fence.
Moreover, the Court was asked only to consider the measures to prevent terrorism, and not terrorism itself.
It is absurd that the victim of terror has been in effect "put on trial."

Israel has both the right and the obligation to build a fence to protect its citizens from suicide bombers attacks. It must, and does, balance security needs with the humanitarian concerns of the Palestinian population.
Israel was forced to build the fence because of Palestinian terror attacks which have killed nearly 1000 Israelis over the last 3 1/2 years.

The Security Fence, a non-violent defensive measure is proving itself to be very effective. It has dramatically reduced the number of suicide attacks on Israeli civilians by making terrorist incursions much more difficult.

Suicide attacks have dropped by over 90% from the northern West Bank since that area of the fence became operational in mid-2003. Scores if not hundreds of lives have been saved because of Israel's anti-terrorist fence.
Israel's legal system has continually reviewed issues involved in the routing of the fence. Israel's High Court of Justice is uniquely placed to be able to balance and analyze the various concerns, including the government's obligation to protect its citizens, necessary to make a legal ruling in regard to Israel's anti-terrorist fence.

Israel's High Court of Justice issued on 30 June 2004 a detailed and binding ruling recognizing the legality of the anti-terrorist fence and detailing conditions regarding its planned routing. Needless to say, the Government of Israel will carefully respect the decision of the High Court.
The Israeli judicial system has determined far-reaching conditions for enabling the improvement of Palestinian quality of life.
No international tribunal or organization has the ability to achieve these aims.
Israel is concerned with the humanitarian needs of the Palestinian population and under most difficult circumstances is making every effort to alleviate the effect of the fence on their way of life.

Security Fence's Effectiveness

A comparison of the number of attacks within Israel carried out by Samaria-based terrorists after the anti-terrorist fence was built, and the number of attacks carried out by the same terrorist groups before the building of the fence, reveals a drop of some 90 percent in the ability of these terrorist groups to perpetrate attacks within Israel.

In the 11 months between the erection of the first segment at the beginning of August 2003 and the end of June 2004, the Samaria-based terrorist groups have succeeded in carrying out only three atrocities within Israel. All three occurred in the first half of 2003, during which 26 Israelis were murdered and 76 wounded. (In two of the cases, the terrorists infiltrated via areas in Samaria where the fence was not yet completed. In the third, a female terrorist entered through the Barta'a crossing using a Jordanian passport.)

In contrast, during the 34 months from the beginning of the violence in September 2000 until the construction of the first continuous segment of the anti-terrorist fence at the end of July 2003, between Salem and Elkana in Samaria, Samaria-based terrorists carried out 73 atrocities (suicide bombings, shootings, car bombings) within Israel (including Jerusalem) in which 293 Israelis were killed and 1950 wounded.

A comparison of the above data shows a decrease of slightly more than 90% in the number of attacks: from an average of 26 attacks a year before the fence, to three attacks after erection of the anti-terrorist fence. This means a decrease of more than 70% in the number of Israelis murdered: from an average of 103 slain per year before the fence to 28 after erection of the fence. Similarly, this means a drop of more than 85% in the number of wounded: from an average of 688 a year before the fence to 83 wounded per year after it was built.

While the number of attacks dropped sharply, the number of attempted attacks that were foiled in various stages of preparation since the erection of the anti-terrorist fence in August 2003 remained high. During this period, the security forces prevented dozens of attacks by Samaria-based terrorist groups in the final stages of preparation. As a result of the arrests of terrorists and heads of cells, 24 explosive belts and bombs were discovered.

The conclusion is inescapable that a major factor in the sharp drop in the number of attacks carried out in Israel by Samaria-based terrorists in the past few months is the effect of the anti-terrorist fence on their operational patterns. This is in addition to the various preventive actions taken by the army in Judea and Samaria, particularly since Operation Defensive Shield.

The success of the anti-terrorist fence in Samaria means that the launching point for terrorists has been moved to Judea. In the last few months, Judea, where there is not yet a continuous fence ,has become the main base for dispatching terrorists (including Samaria-based terrorists) into Israel. In more than half of the dozens of attacks-in-planning that were foiled since the erection of the anti-terrorist fence, the terrorists intended to infiltrate Israel by way of Judea, usually via Jerusalem and Ramallah.

Ruling of the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court of Israel delivered today a ruling stating that the State of Israel has the legal right to build the Security Fence in order to protect the lives of its citizens against the vicious Palestinian terror.

As far as the routing of the Security Fence is concerned, the Defense Establishment has stated repeatedly that Israel, as a law abiding State is committed to the legal process requiring the legal authorities to check each of the proposed sections prior to its approval.

The Defense Establishment respects the judgment of the Supreme Court concerning those sections of the Security Fence that require replanning.

The replanning of these sections will be based on the principles set by the Supreme Court, namely the proper balance between security and humanitarian considerations.

The Security Fence is the realization of the right to live.
The State of Israel will continue to build the Security Fence that has already proven its worthiness in saving lives.

Establishment of a New Regional Brigade in the Judea Samaria Division Responsible for the Seam Zone Area

The IDF spokesperson's unit has announced on February 10th 2004 that the IDF is completing the establishment of a new brigade, which will be responsible for the Seam Zone area, from the area south of Qalkilya to the outskirts of Jerusalem, an area that includes 9 Israeli communities and 32 Palestinian villages.

The new brigade, to be called the Macabim Brigade, was established in order to reinforce the Israeli homeland security in the area of western Seam Zone area in which the building of the security Fence is not yet complete.

The responsibility for the Brigade region will be taken by compulsory soldiers' brigade of "Amud Haesh" division of the Central Command.

The establishment of the regional brigade which includes additional forces for protecting the Seam Zone, was intended to enable commanders in the area to focus on the effort to prevent infiltration of terrorists into Israel through this zone, to supervise the construction of the security fence, and provide security for the Israeli civilians in the region.

Photo : IDF Spokesperson
Photo : IDF Spokesperson
The Israel Ministry of Defense started this morning to dismantle the fence on the eastern side of Baka al Sharqiya

Dismantling the fence takes place after completion of a 5.8 Km fence between Israeli town of Baka al Gharbiya and Palestinian town Baka al Sharqiya, last week.

Removal of the fence will provide 7,300 Palestinian residents of Baka al Sharqiya free movement to the east.

The new fence between the two Bakas answers the basic principles for the security fence, providing protection to Israeli citizens and at the same time does not include Palestinians on the western side of the fence. Construction Department of the Ministry of Defense is in charge of the process and most of the materials comprising the dismantled fence barbed wire, electronic detection fence and its wiring, will be reused in other sections where the fence is being built.

Dismantling will last for a week and it does not include ruin of the paved road.

Fence is proving effective

Security Fence has proven its effectiveness once again.
Even though the Security Fence is incomplete it has proven itself in the past few days with the failure of Palestinian terrorists to cross into Israel and carry out two separate terror attacks.

In the first case, two terrorists, members of the Islamic Jihad, came from Zbubeh but were unable to cross into Israel directly and had to make a detour of 45 km to try and infiltrate in the Beit Shean area where there is no fence, in order to carry out a suicide bombing at the ORT high school in Yokne'am. This long march provided the IDF and the Security forces who were chasing them, time to trace them hiding in a mosque in Bardaleh and capture them thus preventing the terror attack.
The other suicide bombing was planned to take place in Rosh Ha'ayin. Two of the three members belonging to the Fatah Tanzim infrastructure in Nablus left Nablus in one car and the third member, a 40 year old mother of seven children left in a separate vehicle carrying the explosive belt with her.

Their meeting point was Kfar Kasim, a spot chosen because there is no security fence in that area yet. The explosive belt was transferred and the woman returned back to Nablus undetected.

The large presence of Israeli security forces in the area of Rosh Ha'ayin prevented the two terrorists from reaching their destination and they tried to get back but, later on they were caught heading towards Habla. The woman was arrested in Nablus.

In both cases, terror attacks were prevented due to the combination of specific intelligence and deterrence provided by the Security Fence and the security forces.

Budget approval for the Security Fence in the Gilboa

380 million NIS were approved on December 10th by the Parliament's Defense Budget Committee.
The approved budget will be allocated to infrastructure work, construction and procurement of the intrusion - detection fence and other observation means that will be used in the Salem - Beit Shean - Tirat Zvi course of the fence.

Cabinet approves the route of the Security Fence

The IDF and the defense establishment presented the cabinet with its plans vis-a-vis the route for the security fence and its continued implementation. The government agreed as follows:

A. The government reiterates its previous commitment to the establishment of the Security Fence as one of utmost importance and that there is a strong security need for building a security barrier in the Security Fence and in the Jerusalem envelope.

B. In accordance with the above, the government:

  • Approved the building of a barrier to prevent terror attacks according to the guidelines and the route presented today by the IDF and the Defense Ministry.
  • This barrier, like other parts in the Security Fence, is solely for defense purposes and does not represent any kind of political border.
  • Any changes in the route of the barrier will be brought to the Prime Minister and Defense Minister for approval.
  • Prime Minister Sharon, Defense Minister Mofaz and Finance Minister Netanyahu will agree on a perennial budget required for the barrier, which will be brought to the government for approval.
  • The security services will agree on a method for protecting Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria against the existing threats while the Security Fence barrier is being constructed.
  • Every effort will be taken to reduce disturbances to the quality of life for Palestinians that are likely to occur during the construction of the barrier.
( source: Prime Minister's office website )

Eliminating terror activity

There are two unequivocal parts in the equation. The figures and the conclusion.
The fence around Gaza has proven itself as very effective. Only two terrorists, British citizens, came through the Erez crossing point and committed a terror attack in Tel Aviv. Three others were caught right after they crossed the fence.
135 homicide bombers came from Judea and Samaria and conducted 121 terror attack resulting in the death of 423 people and wounding 2886 others.
The conclusion is quite clear : A security fence between Israel and the area of Judea and Samaria will eliminate the occurrence of such horrific terror attacks.

Sari Nusseibeh and Amos Yaron meeting

The Director General of the Ministry of Defense Maj.Gen (Ret) Amos Yaron held today a meeting with Dr. Sari Nusseibeh , President of the Al-Kuds University.
An understanding was reached that will provide for the construction of the security fence in the area of the Al - Kuds University .

Construction work in the eastern section of surrounding Jerusalem has started

The Ministers committee for National Defense decided on August 20th to approve the route of the Security Fence, Israel's Security Obstacle, in the surrounding Jerusalem area.
Construction work in the eastern section of surrounding Jerusalem has started.

Facts & Figures

  • The first stage of the Security Fence , 140 km, was completed on July 31 2003
  • 123 km are in the Salem-Elkana area and 17.8 km in the northern and southern sections of Jerusalem
  • Only 8km of the 140km consist of concrete sections to prevent direct shooting
  • 41 agricultural gates exist along the route to enable the Palestinian farmers access to their lands
  • 9 crossing points for pedestrians and vehicles will substitute existing Check Points
  • 4 Check Points for transfer of goods will be established, similar to the Karni Check Point. A 5th Check Point will be established once the whole project is completed
  • The second stage from Salem towards Bezeq, a total of 42km will be completed by the end of 2003
  • Only 1% from Judea and Samaria were seized (not confiscated) in the first two stages of the project
  • No houses were destroyed
  • Owners of seized land are offered compensation for land and crop (next 5 years)
  • Rate of crimes ( robbery, theft) along the route has decreased by 30%
  • 15 Archaeological sites have been discovered
  • Over 63,000 olive trees have been uprooted and replanted. Thousands of Iris bulbs from the Gilboa mountain were uprooted and replanted
  • 17 earth work contractors are involved in the project
  • More than 6,000 people are involved in the project

The Israel Ministry of Defense and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have completed the first stage of the Security Fence project, Israel's Security Fence, on time.
The first stage includes a section from Salem towards Elkana and two sections of what is called "circling Jerusalem", in the north and in the south, a total of 140 km out of which, 8.5 km consists of concrete wall to prevent direct shooting.
The Israeli Government decided on this measure in July 2001. The Security Fence is a central component in Israel's response to the wave of Palestinian terrorism. It is a defensive measure , designed to block the passage of terrorists, weapons and explosives into the State of Israel and thus save lives, and not to annex territory.
In order to carry out the project, 5 planning companies, 17 infrastructure and electronic companies were employed operating more than 600 engineering construction equipment (75,000 days).
The course of the route reflects a balance between operational and humanitarian concerns, as well as ecological considerations.
Every effort has been made to minimize the infringement on the daily life of the Palestinian population.
41 agricultural gates have been built along the route which allow the Palestinian farmers to cross into their lands in case the security fence separated owners from their land. These agricultural gates exist on top of the new check points that are being built for Israeli and Palestinian pedestrians and vehicles and the crossing points for transfer of goods.
By the end of 2003 all the smaller checkpoints will be finished and during the first quarter of 2004, the rest of them.

The first crossing point for transfer of goods in Shaar Ephraim will be operational in the first quarter of 2004 and for the time being it is being operated in the "back to back" configuration.

Special attention has been paid to water reservoirs, wells and pipes and accordingly, rusty pipes have been replaced by new ones and laid down underneath the Security Fence so that they will not be damaged.
Landscape architects were part of the planning team in order to minimize damage to the landscape and vegetation.

Work from Salem to Bezek towards Bet She'an (stage B) continues. This stage will be completed by the end of 2003.

The Director General of the M.O.D conducted another site tour
to the Security Fence
During the tour, the Director General of the M.O.D, Maj. Gen (Ret) Amos Yaron, met with the contractors working in the Salem-Elkana area. They assured him they will meet the deadline; 31 July 2003, so that by that time the fence will be operational.

Work in the Taanachim area presented a professional challenge mainly because of the type of the soil – clay which absorbs water and swells twice its volume.
In order to pave a solid road, rocks and stones brought from another area were concealed in the soil, creating a two-meter layer, on top of which another layer of regular soil will be placed to avoid erosion of the paved road.

Stage A of the Security Fence project is fast approaching the
end line- July 2003.

543 engineering vehicles are operating on site. Since the project’s initiation in June 2002 they have registered over 57,700 days of operation.
By the end of May 2003 70 km will be operational and their length will rise to 112 km by the end of June 2003 . By the end of July 2003 the first stage will be completely operational.
Work in Stage B, Salem towards Beit Shean, is proceeding in high speed.

IDF to Secure both sides

The IDF has been appointed the body in charge of securing both sides of the Security Fence currently under construction instead of solely in the West Bank. The transfer of security jurisdiction from the Border Police to the army went into effect on Sunday April 13th in accordance with a government decision taken in January this year.
The implementations of the decision follows intensive preparations in coordinating with the Border Police and includes careful stipulation of the new responsibilities to be divided between the two bodies: The IDF will add to its realm of responsibility 24 Israeli Arab communities. The Israeli Police will continue to be responsible for the security of such towns as Taibe, Tira, Kafr Kasem and Umm el- Fahm.
Five Border Police companies that operated under Judea and Samaria command districts in the past will maintain ongoing security inside Israel but will now operate under the army’s jurisdiction. A new Border Police command headquarters will be established in the Judea district and five other Border Police companies will be responsible for the Bethlehem and Hebron areas and the seam line area from southern Jerusalem towards Hebron.
Five other border police companies will remain under the Border Police jurisdiction and will focus on clamping down on the stealing of agricultural goods by thieves from the territories.

The Prime Minister and the Government ministers conducted a tour of the Security Fence in the area of Salem- Ivtan.

The operational concept of the project was presented to them as well as the project’s definitions, time table and scope by the Minister of Defence, the Director General of the MOD and the Chief of staff of the IDF.

The Prime Minister and the Ministers were impressed by the determination with which the Defense Establishment is carrying out the project.



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