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      Op-Ed: The Fence Arafat Built

      Published: Sunday, January 04, 2004 6:10 PM
      "This is the fence that Arafat built. His terrorism initiated it and made its construction inevitable," declared Dan Gillerman, Israeli Ambassador to the U.N.


      "This is the fence that Arafat built. His terrorism initiated it and made its construction inevitable," declared Dan Gillerman, Israeli Ambassador to the U.N.

      Meanwhile, recent events show that the fence has already been effective at saving the lives of Israeli citizens. A homicide bomber attempting to enter the center of Israel from Judea and Samaria (wrongly called "West Bank") was prevented by the presence of the fence.

      The U.S. and Israel have both condemned and rejected an Arab/Islamist-backed U.N. General Assembly resolution sending the issue of Israel's security fence against terrorism to the International Court of Justice at the Hague for consideration of its legality.

      Each and every nation has the international right to protect its citizens. No nation needs to apologize for protecting its citizens safety, security and welfare.

      The defensive obstacle to terror that Israel is currently building in Judea and Samaria is necessary to fight terror and allow for the re-emergence of a peace process between Palestinians and Israelis, according to retired IDF Maj. Gen. Uzi Dayan, former national security adviser to Prime Ministers Ehud Barak and Ariel Sharon. In a lecture to the Washington Institute for Near East Policy last month, Dayan told the think tank that if the Palestinians continue to use terrorism, then "the only way to facilitate the Road Map or any other plan is to build a security fence. Such a fence is not an obstacle to peace, but rather the first step of disengagement and a precondition to any political process." Addressing the security aspects of the fence, Dayan pointed out that the fence in Gaza is 100% effective and "there is ample evidence demonstrating the effectiveness of, and precedence for, the construction of a security fence."

      One example that the security fence is preventing terrorism is the aforementioned foiled attack and homicide bombing of a school in the northern city of Yokne'am.

      Arab "Palestinian" homicide bombers were prevented from reaching Israel from Jenin via the northern or western part of Judea and Samaria. The security fence helped the IDF prevent a mega-terror attack on the ORT Allon School in Yokne'am, which is attended by 1,000 high school and junior high school pupils. Another simultaneous attack intended to occur in the town of Bet She'an was also halted.

      Attempting to enter Israel from the northern side of Judea and Samaria, via the northern Jordan Valley, the terrorists were impeded by the presence of the fence, which forced them to change routes and head toward an entrance point in sovereign Israel where the fence has yet to be constructed. The homicide bomber's detour granted the IDF sufficient time to track and arrest the terrorists before they could reach their intended target.

      Reports indicated that one of the homicide bombers had planned to detonate the bomb near the entrance to the Yokne'am high school as hundreds of children were heading home.

      Dore Gold, an adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, told the Associated Press the incident "demonstrates the necessity of Israel's ongoing security measures, including the completion of its security fence."

      Instead of making peace and giving both Arabs and Jews security, Arafat turned his back on peace and walked away from an unprecedented "Land for Peace" deal that would have given his people statehood, including East Jerusalem as capital, 100% of Gaza, and 97% of Judea and Samaria. Instead, Arafat unleashed a bloody and brutal campaign and counter-offer of hatred, incitement, terrorism, and violence against Israel.

      The world wrongly prejudges Israel's right to protect its citizens from harm. The Arab/Islamist-controlled United [Against Israel] Nations is promoting a call worldwide for Israel to cease building the critically essential security fence against terrorism, while the same U.N. fails to request a cease in the terror necessitating the security fence in the first place.

      The issue of the security fence is now going to be heard at the Hague internationally. The world is about to judge Israel and also judge itself at the same time. Hopefully, the evidence of fact rather than fiction will determine the final decision. If that is the case, Israel shall prevail in its basic right to protect all of its citizens.

      There is saying in the Torah: "If one can save a single life, it as if one has saved an entire world." The security fence can save not only the lives of numerous Israeli citizens, but can stop terrorism and save an entire world from terrorism spreading to within its internal borders.