Israel to resume West Bank security fence construction

By Benjamin Lazarus, July 5, 2012

After a five-year delay, Israel will resume constructing the West Bank security barrier in the next few weeks.

The barrier was originally erected in 2002 during the Second Intifada.

The objective - largely achieved - was to reduce terrorism and suicide bombings occurring in Israel.

It is constructed primarily of fencing, but part is also a concrete wall.

For the most part it runs along the Green Line (the pre-1967 border) although there are some deviations inside the West Bank.

According to the state, construction stopped because of budgetary concerns.

However, the Israeli paper Yediot Aharonot claimed international pressure was also a contributing factor in suspending construction.

Today it runs for approximately 200 kilometres, and upon completion will extend to 760 kilometres.

Work will initially begin near the group of settlements near Bethlehem called Gush Etzion, and next year construction will resume around a settlement in East Jerusalem, Ma'ale Adumim.

Renewed international criticism is widely expected once work resumes.

Last updated: 10:38am, July 5 2012