Construction on a new “wall” along Jerusalem, Israel’s eastern frontier, is due to start this month and residents hope it will stop the influx of migrants.
The “wall,” which is intended to prevent infiltration into Israel, is being built on the western side of the city and will be about 1.6 kilometers (800 meters) long and 300 meters wide, with a border fence around it.
Residents are concerned about the impact it will have on the existing “migrant wall,” which already is over 1 kilometer (620 meters) wide and 2.4 kilometers (1,400 meters) high.
“It will be a complete catastrophe, and it will mean the end of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” said Abu Shadi, a resident of the northern settlement of Beit Jala.
“If we build the wall, it will destroy all the existing fences that have been built by the Israeli government since 1967.
It will also destroy the infrastructure of the settlements that were built on this land and it’s very dangerous.”
Residents have already protested the plan to build the new barrier, saying it will only exacerbate the already difficult situation for Palestinians in the occupied West Bank.
They fear that the “wall of stones” will prevent them from entering their communities and have called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to reconsider.
On the other hand, the residents say that it will also help Israel defend itself from Palestinian violence and terrorism.
“There will be no border between Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory,” said Nader Dheisheh, a member of the Joint Arab List party, a settler coalition that also includes the ruling Likud party.
“Israel will not be attacked by Palestinian rockets.
And it will not have to fight with Hezbollah and Hamas.”
However, the construction of the new wall is being opposed by several Palestinian groups, including the Palestine Liberation Organization, which calls the plan a “direct challenge” to the Oslo Accords.
The Oslo Accorders have ended decades of peace talks between Israel, the Palestinians, the Arab world and the United States, but Israel still maintains a majority in both the Israeli parliament and in the Supreme Court.
Despite these concerns, the Israeli authorities say the new “migration barrier” will only have a short-term effect on the Israeli economy.
“The wall will not impact the Palestinian economy,” said Yair Lapid, the leader of the right-wing Zionist Union party.
The “migrants will be stopped from entering Israel, but we will not lose any jobs.”
“This is a very expensive project.
It is not even feasible to build it.”
According to Israeli authorities, the wall is a temporary measure to combat the growing threat of infiltration by illegal migrants and terrorists.
But it will cost Israel a fortune.
It estimates that the construction will cost more than $300 million and that the cost of building the wall will reach $400 million.
The costs of the wall’s construction are expected to exceed $1 billion, but many residents are skeptical.
“I am very worried about the construction,” said Mahmoud Jaber, a Palestinian from the northern city of Qalqilya who is currently in Israel for medical treatment.
“I will never forget what happened in the last days of the war in Gaza.
There was a large influx of refugees and they were killed by Israeli snipers.
This wall is not necessary for us.
It’s not necessary to prevent them, but to stop them.””
We want to be the first to build this wall,” he added.
“The people want us to build a wall.”
For Palestinians in Israel, a wall is the latest attempt by the government to enforce the Oslo accords, which were meant to end decades of conflict between the Jewish state and the Palestinians.
The Oslo Accorder also called for a two-state solution, and the Israeli military has repeatedly demolished Palestinian structures along the “separation wall” to prevent infiltrations.
Israel says the wall serves security purposes and that it would never interfere in the internal affairs of other countries.
However, the UN and the Palestinian Authority have repeatedly called on Israel to stop building the “migratory wall” and to respect international humanitarian law.