The final defining element of the bantustan is the Separation Barrier, known by its opponents as the Apartheid Wall both because it serves to make permanent an apartheid situation between Israelis and Palestinians, and because it rises to a massive concrete wall of eight meters (26 feet) when reaching Palestinian population centers – replete with prison-like watch towers, gates, security roads, electronic fences and deadly armaments. While sold to the public as an innocent security device, the Barrier in fact defines the border between Israel (including the areas of the West Bank and East Jerusalem Israel seeks to annex) and the Palestinian mini-state. It follows not the Green Line but establishes a new demographic line that extends Israel eastward into the West Bank. Although the Barrier’s overall route has been moved closer to the Green Line in light of the International Court of Justice’s ruling, the addition of “supplementary security zones” and “special security zones” to the Barrier’s complex still retains the convoluted route around the settlement blocs in order to ensure they are on the “right” side of the Barrier. When completed the Separation Barrier will be five times longer than the Berlin Wall (some 700 kms versus 155), in places twice as high and will unilaterally annex East Jerusalem and some 8% of the West Bank. As an installation costing $2 billion, it is not designed to be dismantled.

 

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