As world marks 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall, Israel’s Wall has become a new global icon for oppression
Symbolically, the wall in Palestine is this century’s Berlin Wall, albeit four times as long as that hated Cold War icon and more than twice as high. Under construction since 2002, it is expected to eventually extend for 709 kilometers through the West Bank. A series of concrete slabs, barbed-wire “buffer zones”, trenches, electrified fences, watchtowers, thermal-imaging video cameras, sniper towers, military checkpoints and roads for patrol vehicles have dismembered the cities of the West Bank and segregated them from occupied East Jerusalem.
The wall defies international law as well as United Nations Security Council resolutions, and deviates considerably from the original boundaries demarcating land captured by Israel during the 1967 War. It is more than twice the length of the Green Line, Israel’s recognized border with the West Bank. Israel maintains that it is intended as a defense against terrorist attacks; Palestinians view it as a cynical, long-term maneuver aimed at annexing more land to Israel and inhibiting Palestinian movement within the Occupied Territories.
“A country is not only what it does, it is also what it tolerates"