Daily Israel Report

Yesha Security Barrier Construction to Resume

IDF sources say construction of Israel's security barrier in Judea and Samaria will resume in the coming days.
By Gabe Kahn
First Publish: 7/5/2012, 3:37 PM

Security barrier near Jerusalem
Security barrier near Jerusalem
Shimon Cohen

An IDF source on Thursday said Israel will resume construction of its incomplete security barrier in Judea and Samaria (Shomron) in the coming weeks.

Restarting construction of the barrier – slammed by Jewish and Arab leaders in the region alike – comes after a five-year delay due to "budget problems."

A series of lawsuits over the route of the security barrier, which currently snakes through the western reaches of Judea and Samaria had also stalled construction.

Colonel Ofer Hindi outlined the government plans to resume construction work in a session before the Supreme Court on Wednesday.

Hindi told the court that work will first resume in the Gush Etzion bloc near Bethlehem. In 2013, work will resume around Maale Adumim to the east of Jerusalem.

Israel began work on the barrier in 2002 during the height of the second intifada, and has defended the necessity of its construction, pointing to a drop in attacks as proof of its success.

The Palestinian Authority claims the barrier is a land grab, pointing out that when complete, 85% of it will have been built inside Judea and Samaria.

However, the Netanyahu government has stated its policy is to retain Israel's main settlement blocs in the region while compensating the PA with 'land swaps.'