Page last updated at 14:47 GMT, Thursday, 5 November 2009

World's barriers: West Bank

Scenes of the West Bank barrier
The West Bank barrier is a stark symbol of the Middle East conflict

On the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, BBC Mundo looks at barriers which are still standing - or have gone up since - around the world.

The barrier which separates Israel from the West Bank is a mixture of fences, barbed wire, ditches and concrete slabs up to 8m (26ft) high.


Some sections also include sensors, sand - to help identify footprints - patrol roads and "buffer zones" up to 60m wide.

The Israeli government approved the construction of the barrier in 2002.

According to figures released by the UN in July 2009, the proposed boundary is now 58.3% complete, with 10% currently in the process of construction, leaving 31.5% still to be built.

The Israeli Ministry of Defence issues emergency military decrees to landowners in order to obtain the land on which the wall is to be built - 85% of it is built on occupied Palestinian land.

Only 15% of the barrier follows the so-called "Green Line", the internationally-recognised border.

In 2004, the barrier was deemed illegal by the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

Israel's official position is that the barrier is a "security fence", defending its citizens from attacks by Palestinians.

The Palestinians, on the other hand, view it as an "apartheid wall" which threatens their human rights, and believe that its true aim is to expand Israeli territory.

Print Sponsor


Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2018 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific