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This Lone Wall in Israel Is Saving Thousands of Lives
The cost of labor isn’t the only thing going down thanks to the erection of Israel’s security wall in 2003. A report from the Jewish Virtual Library shows that terrorism has dropped by 90% in the years since the barrier was built between Israel and the West Bank, a border that served as an entryway for terrorists, illegal immigrants, and drug trafficking throughout the long history of the Israel-Palestine conflict.
In 2002, before the wall was constructed, terrorist attacks were up due to the Second Intifada. After the the wall was built, the number of yearly attacks were cut almost exactly in half, from a total of 137 in 2002 to 67 in 2003.
The number of attacks kept decreasing, from 48 in 2006 to 30 in 2008 to 9 in 2012.
While the Angela Merkel-affiliated Konrad Adenauer Foundation has tried to draw parallels between Israel’s wall and the Berlin wall, which famously came down in 1989 in the face of a new German reunification, Israeli citizens refuse such comparison points. They can see the difference firsthand.
Dr. Efraim Zuroff, who heads up the Jerusalem Office of Jewish Human Rights Organization’s Simon Wiesenthal Center, spoke to the Jerusalem Post about the difference between Israel’s security wall and other failed attempts at wall-based security, such as the Berlin Wall or the Trump wall initiative. The wall, said Zuroff, was “built to save lives and stop terrorism,” and “has saved many lives.” With 20 percent of the Israeli population consisting of believers in a “judenrein” West Bank, the wall has been an incredible success, not just in terms of keeping terrorists out, but keeping harmful contraband and illegal trafficking out as well.
The wall hasn’t just saved Jewish lives and improved the peace. It’s reduced costs for border patrol. By replacing human labor with an impenetrable 500-mile fence that needs barely any upkeep, the cost of security has been reduced drastically. In addition to sending soldiers to patrol the fence at specific checkpoints, the wall is fortified by a sea barrier of 650 feet, constructed after a brutal Hamas attack in 2014, known as Operation Protective Edge.
“Statistical data indicates a 30% drop in the number of terrorist attacks that took place in 2003 compared to 2002.” According to the Foreign Ministry. “Similarly, there has been a 50% decrease in the number of victims murdered by terrorists in 2003 compared to the previous year.” The ministry went on to note that: “there were 17 suicide bomber attacks inside Israel that emanated from the northern part (Samaria) of the West Bank during the months April-December 2002. In contrast, since construction began on the anti-terrorist fence, throughout all of 2003 only 5 suicide bomber attacks emanated from the same area.”
As the attacks drop, the Israel Defense Ministry is making plans to fortify security in more vulnerable border areas through the construction of a new security fence.
Israel’s security wall is how, in the words of journalist Alexander Nabert, “Israel defends itself against the annihilation wishes of thousands of antisemites” and their skilled terrorist forces.
Though the wall has its critics both in Israel and overseas, the statistics make one wonder: How many more lost lives might we be looking at had the defense wall never been built to begin with?