|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
|The Israeli West Bank barrier is a physical barrier constructed by Israel consisting of a network of fences with vehicle-barrier trenches surrounded by an on average 60 meters wide exclusion area (90%) and up to 8 meters high concrete walls (10%). It is located mainly within the West Bank, partly along the 1949 Armistice line, or "Green Line" between the West Bank and Israel. As of April 2006 the length of the barrier as approved by the Israeli government is 703 kilometers (436 miles) long. Approximately 58.4% has been constructed, 8.96% is under construction, and construction has not yet begun on 33% of the barrier.|
The barrier is a very controversial project. Supporters claim the barrier is a necessary tool protecting Israeli civilians from what they see as Palestinian terrorism, including suicide bombing attacks, that increased significantly during the al-Aqsa Intifada; it has helped reduce incidents of terrorism by 90% from 2002 to 2005; its supporters claim that the onus is now on the Palestinian Authority to fight terrorism.
Opponents claim the barrier is an illegal attempt to annex Palestinian land under the guise of security, violates international law, has the intent or effect to pre-empt final status negotiations, and severely restricts Palestinians who live nearby, particularly their ability to travel freely within the West Bank and to access work in Israel, thereby undermining their economy.
Pro-settler opponents claim that the barrier is a sly attempt to artificially create a border that excludes the settlers, creating "facts on the ground" that justify the mass dismantlement of hundreds of settlements and displacement of over 100,000 Jews from the land they claim as their biblical homeland.
A similar barrier, the Israeli Gaza Strip barrier, was constructed in 1994 largely on the 1949 armistice line between Israel and the Gaza Strip, and has been much less controversial.
Names of the barrier
Aerial view looking from the Israeli side.The naming of the barrier is controversial. Israeli's most commonly refer to the barrier as the "separation fence" (גדר ההפרדה, gader ha'hafrada or geder ha'hafrada) and "security fence" or "anti-terrorist fence", with "seam zone" referring to the land between the fence and the 1949 armistice lines.
Palestinians most commonly refer to the barrier in Arabic as "jidar al-fasl al-'unsuri", (racial segregation wall), and some opponents of the barrier refer to it in English as the "Apartheid Wall".
The International Court of Justice in its advisory opinion on the barrier wrote that "fence" and "barrier" are "no more accurate" than "wall" but has "chosen to use the terminology ['wall'] employed by the General Assembly."
This photo was taken on the Palestinian side, near the border gates to Israel.
nosam, noborders, aslaets, tiobibi has marked this note useful
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- [2007-03-05 16:30]
I've read about this wall but have never seen any images of it before. I had no idea it was this massive. Hopefully someday in the future it will not have to be there. This is a fascinating shot and TFS! -M
Excellent photograph of this forbidding and ominous physical symbol of deep divisions between people.
Like any wall, barrier, dam or blockade, it is only a temporary solution. May a more lasting and meaningful one be found within our lifetimes.
- [2007-03-06 11:39]
Thank you to show that the Wall is so ominous and huge, that it divides lands and minds as well!
Whenever people feel the need they have to construct a wall between themselves and some other, there is something terribly wrong. There is no point in being for or against the wall as such, yet in itself it raises a huge question about how to live together.
About the picture:
I do not know how difficult or dangerous it was to make it, and do not misunderstand me, I do believe you are so right to post it here. But also I feel that a stronger image would have been possible by taking another point of view, either perpendicular or using a very explicit perspective. I also believe that more sky is called for, to create contrast and balance with the wall. The presence of the two men is a good element and definitely required for such image.
Peace to you, good man !