FM Livni: Security Fence Promotes Future PA State

Israel’s Foreign Minister was forced this week to explain why a de facto border is being built to split Israel and create a de facto PA state.

Hana Levi Julian ,

Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni met Thursday with United Nations Humanitarian Aid Representative Louis Michel to discuss the security fence being built in Judea and Samaria.


The barrier appears to be a de factor border – complete with passport control checkpoints constructed along with way, rather than a simple security measure. The Olmert government has claimed it is designed to increase security for Jewish communities by blocking terrorists from Palestinian Authority-controlled areas from entering pre-1967 Israel.


The Foreign Minister explained to the U.N. envoy that although local Arabs often complain that the fence will hurt their chances to build a state in the area the fence actually promotes their goal. She also said Arabs are using the fence as another excuse to attack Israelis, and pointed out that every step made by Israel is answered with violence, regardless of which security measure is taken.


'No Reason for Gaza to Become a Terror Nest'


Minister Livni also pointed out that there was “no reason” for Gaza to turn into a “terror nest” after Israel expelled all Jews from the region in 2005, and that the current situation in which terrorists are revered in Arab society “is unacceptable and has to change.”


Minister Livni echoed a speech made this week by Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, who said the PA created a prison for its own people in Gaza “by turning it into a terror base and launching pad for missiles into Israel.”

Speaking at a meeting of the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday, Ambassador Gillerman reminded world leaders that the PA’s charge that Israel has turned Gaza into a “massive prison” ignores the fact that “Israel left every inch of Gaza nearly two years ago.”

Ambassador Gillerman added that “Speaking of the poor Palestinians as victims is a blatant attempt to portray them as poor victims who were imprisoned for parking violations rather than bloody murderers who committed horrifying acts of murder.”


U.N. Secretary-General Ban Opposes the Fence


Last month, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon took a helicopter tour of the security fence in order to see for himself how and where it is built. He also inspected the route the rest of the fence will take and how it might impact the populations on both sides of the barrier.


During the tour, Secretary-General Ban acknowledged that he understood Israel’s need for the security fence, which had been declared illegal by the United Nation’s World Court, despite its acceptance with reservations by Israel’s Supreme Court.

Prior to his tour of the barrier and before a meeting scheduled for later in the day with Israeli leaders in Jerusalem however, the U.N. Secretary-General visited the PA-controlled territories in Judea and Samaria with PA officials.


While visiting the Aida community near Bethlehem, Secretary-General Ban commented that the security fence does not serve the peace process between Israel and the PA and said it should be removed.

Jews and Arabs Oppose the Wall


Both Jews and Arabs in Israel and PA territories have fought a non-stop battle against the building of the wall, sometimes in the High Court of Justice and sometimes in the field, at the construction sites themselves.


Many politicians on both sides of the political spectrum have charged that the wall is being routed and erected in such a way as to become a de facto border between Israel and a future PA state that benefits no one.


Jews have fought the so-called security barrier because many small communities in Judea and Samaria are being left outside the area which is supposed to protect them from terrorism.


Arab farmers have complained they have been cut off from their fields and Arab municipalities have claimed in some cases that the barrier route slices through their villages. Arabs who work in Jewish cities and other communities also say they will be unable to get to their jobs, and for those who can, it will take hours longer to get there, thus jeopardizing their employment.


Environmental Groups Also Oppose the Wall


Environmental groups have also opposed the wall, saying it will disturb and in some cases destroy the delicate ecological balance in key areas around the country.


Despite pressure from residents of Judea and environmental groups, however, senior IDF officials have now also decided to push for construction of a security fence in the Judean desert. Only a physical barrier will protect Jewish communities to the west of the fence from attack, they say.

Defense Minister Amir Peretz stopped construction in the area in January, after local residents argued that the fence would harm the environment.


Brigadier-General Kobi Barak, who is in charge of construction of the wall, has said he will submit a report to Peretz on the issue in the near future. Some minor changes might be made to make the fence more environmentally friendly, officials said.