West Bank security wall

After our visit to the Kathisma, we walked into the West Bank to try to visit Rachel’s Tomb, the traditional burying place of the biblical matriarch.  The tomb, which used to be easily accessible, is now sealed off in the new massive security wall that separates Bethlehem (in the West Bank) from Ramat Rachel (in Israel’s pre-1967 borders).  This fact, as well as it being Shabbat, meant that we could not visit the tomb, but we did cross through the wall on foot and did some souvenir shopping on the Palestinian side.  Palestinians going through had to put their hands in a print reader, but the Israeli border police waved us through and we passed in and out of the West Bank easily.  Here are some photos of the wall; the first view is from the Israeli side; the rest are from the Palestinian side.

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One Response to “West Bank security wall”

  1. Ann Stehney Says:

    Amazing photos, but our experience tells only part of the story of the security fence. … All countries are concerned about the security of their borders (I strongly suspect that the US would have long ago erected such a wall along the entire border with Mexico if they could afford it). But not all countries have been subjected to ongoing terrorist attacks from their neighbors’ territory … Unilateral withdrawal from Palestinian territory hasn’t bought security for Israel — note Gaza. … Israelis and Palestinians alike benefit economically from having Palestinians cross the border to work in Israel. … The hand print reader is simply a means of verifying identification — the same technology that’s used on foreign nationals entering the US at the Philadelphia airport. … While Americans passed easily through the check point, Israeli citizens aren’t even permitted to enter the territory of the Palestinian Authority. … Since the security fence was erected, ordinary crime in some Israeli border communities has dropped by 80%. … Yes, it’s huge, ugly, and unfortunate, but debates about the fence should focus on where it’s placed, not on its existence.
    Ann

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