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Tuesday, July 13, 2004

KNOW THY FENCE

Questions and Answers for the Truly Concerned
What is the reason for establishing the Security Fence Area?
The Security Fence is being built with the sole purpose of saving lives of Israeli citizens who continue to be targeted by the Palestinian Arab terrorist campaign that began in 2000. Ehud Barak, former Israeli prime minister, said in an interview with The Telegraph (UK) that “We have over 900 reasons to build the fence between Israel and the West Bank. You can count the reasons in our graveyards. . .” The State of Israel has not only the right but also the obligation to do everything in its power to lessen the impact and scope of terrorism on the citizens of Israel.

Does the Security Fence constitute a permanent political border?
No, it is only a temporary security barrier which can always be moved. Recently Israel removed 12 miles of the fence to ease Palestinian daily life, and last month, Israel’s Supreme Court ordered the government to reroute 20 more miles of the fence for that same purpose.

Will it be possible to cross the Security Fence Area?
Yes. Israel is establishing gates to allow free passage across the Area. The security fence will provide security, but will not seal off the West Bank. Special arrangements have been made for Palestinian farmers separated from their land. Special gates for agricultural purposes only, separate from the passage of regular pedestrians and cars, are being included in the barrier.

How was the path of the Security Fence determined?
The path of the Security Fence was planned in accordance with (Israeli) security and (Palestinian) humanitarian concerns. In order to include about 80% of the Jews and only 1% of the Palestinians living in the disputed territories, the Fence will run into less than 12% of the West Bank. The Fence is designed to provide maximum security for Israelis with a minimum of negative impact for Palestinians.

Why wasn’t it built along the “Green Line”?
The Green Line has never represented an international boundary. As there was never a recognized and legitimate sovereign in the West Bank, the legal status of these areas remains that of disputed territory, to be resolved through negotiations - as specifically called for by UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338. A barrier along the Green Line would have conveyed a political statement, which was not Israel’s intention.

What is the legal status of the land?
The land used in building the Security Fence is seized for military purposes; it is not confiscated and remains the property of the owner. Legal procedures are already in place in Israel to allow owners to file an objection to the seizure of the land. Moreover, Israel offers compensation to property owners for the use of their land and for damage to their trees.

Is the Fence effective?
According to the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center at the Center for Special Studies, a comparative analysis of the terrorist attacks perpetrated by Palestinian terrorist infrastructures based in the northern West Bank indicates a drastic decrease (approx. 90%) in the number of terrorist attacks perpetrated in Israel since the construction of the Security Fence. The analysis also shows a drop of over 70% in the number of fatalities and over 85% in the number of wounded.
source: www.intelligence.org.il/eng/c_t/fence/fence_b.htm
The basis for most of this information comes from StandWithUs. Other sources include this Netanyahu OpEd in the New York Times and www.intelligence.org.il.

My deep gratitude to all those who work hard to see that Israel gets a fair chance... in Boulder, in Israel, in the press, and among "the nations." You know who you are. Gd should bless your efforts and renew your strength.