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Sat Nov 17, 2012, 01:04 PM

Arrested Development: The Long Term Impact of the Separation Barrior

Most of the Separation Barrier route, constructed by Israel over the last ten years, does not follow the Green Line, the 1947 armistice line between the West Bank and Israel. Instead, the barrier lies within the West Bank and divides Palestinian villages from their pastures and farmlands, stifles any chance for economic development and makes survival extremely difficult for nearby Palestinian communities. As a result, the surrounding area’s economic stability and agricultural activity have declined sharply, and many Palestinians have simply packed up and left their homes.

The construction of the barrier east of the Green Line creates a de facto annexation of many Israeli settlements, while isolating Palestinian communities in the same area caught between the barrier in the east and the Green Line to its west. Israel’s security establishment declared about 75 percent of the land between the barrier and the Green Line, home to some 7,500 Palestinian residents, a “seam zone” and conditions Palestinians' ability to enter these areas on a rigid and convoluted permit regime. However, the Israeli settlers living in the same area enjoy complete freedom of mobility between their homes and Israeli cities west of the Green Line.

Building the barrier inside the West Bank and imposing an inflexible permit regime impedes Palestinians’ human rights. Their right to freedom of movement is severely curtailed, and consequently also their right to work, to an education, to health care, to a normal family life, to earn a decent livelihood and to a reasonable standard of living. All of these services and opportunities exist only in neighboring cities and towns now outside of their reach.


The scope of Israeli control in the Gaza Strip
1 Jan 2011

In September 2005, Israel completed the "disengagement plan," which included the dismantling of all the Israeli settlements in the Gaza Strip, the evacuation of their residents to Israeli territory, and the withdrawal of all Israeli army forces from the area. After the plan was completed, Israel issued an order declaring the end of the military government in the Gaza Strip. The changes following the disengagement resulted in some improvement in the ability of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip to run their lives. Most importantly, they are now able to move about freely in most of the territory. However, Israel continues to hold decisive control over important elements of Palestinian life in the Gaza Strip, as follows:


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