The Israeli West Bank barrier is a separation barrier (see "Names of the barrier") under construction by the State of Israel along and within the West Bank. Upon completion, the barrier's total length will be approximately 700 kilometres (430 mi). 90% of the length of this barrier is a fence with vehicle-barrier trenches surrounded by an on-average 60 metres (200 ft) wide exclusion area, and 10% of the barrier is an 8 metres (26 ft)-tall concrete wall. The barrier is built mainly in the West Bank and partly along the 1949 Armistice line, or "Green Line "between Israel and Palestinian West Bank. According to the Israeli human rights organization B'Tselem, 8.5% of the West Bank area is on the Israeli side of the barrier, and 3.4% is on the other side but "partly or completely surrounded".
Supporters argue that the barrier is necessary to protect Israeli civilians from Palestinian terrorism, including the suicide bombing attacks that increased significantly during the Second Intifada. There has been a reduced number of incidents of suicide bombings since the construction of the barrier. According to statistics published by the Israeli government, between 2000 and July 2003, when the "first continuous segment"of the barrier was built, 73 Palestinian suicide bombings were carried out from the West Bank, killing 293 Israelis and injuring over 1,900. However, from August 2003 and the end of 2006, only 12 attacks were carried out, killing 64 Israelis and wounding 445. Supporters argue that this is indicative of the barrier being effective in preventing such attacks.
Opponents of the barrier object that the route substantially deviates from the Green Line into the occupied territories captured by Israel in the Six-Day War of 1967. They argue that the barrier is an illegal attempt to annex Palestinian land under the guise of security, violates international law, has the effect of undermining negotiations (by establishing new borders), and severely restricts Palestinians who live nearby, particularly their ability to travel freely within the West Bank and to access work in Israel. In a 2004 advisory opinion resulting from a Palestinian-initiated U.N. resolution, the International Court of Justice considered that "Israel cannot rely on a right of self-defence or on a state of necessity in order to preclude the wrongfulness of the construction of the wall". The Court asserted that "the construction of the wall, and its associated régime, are contrary to international law". Some Jewish settlers condemn the barrier for appearing to renounce the Jewish claim to the whole of the Land of Israel.
Two similar barriers, the Israeli Gaza Strip barrier and the Israeli-built 7-9 meter (23 – 30 ft) wall separating Gaza from Egypt (temporarily breached on January 23, 2008), which is currently under Egyptian control, are also controversial.
Israelis most commonly refer to the barrier as the "separation (hafrada) fence"( גדר ההפרדה, Geder HaHafrada) and "security fence" or "anti-terrorist fence", with "seam zone "(קו התפר, Kav HaTefer) referring to the land between the fence and the 1949 armistice lines.