Completing the security barrier should include an indefinite Israeli freeze of settlement construction in the West Bank east of the barrier and an Israeli preparedness to acknowledge that territories east of the barrier would constitute a future Palestinian state, pending a negotiated agreement.
The security barrier, initially erected in 2003 by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in response to the wave of suicide attacks during the second intifada, has proven to be an effective hindrance to terrorism. However, gaps remain in the barrier that leave Israeli citizens vulnerable to this day. Two gaps in particular – surrounding the Ma’ale Adumim and Gush Etzion blocs – should be closed. The completion of these gaps would accomplish three goals:
- Enhance the security of Israeli citizens living in these communities and throughout Israel.
- Limit the growth of these settlement blocs in ways that risk foreclosing the possibility of a future two-state solution
- Create a de facto two-state reality on the ground, absent an agreement.
Closing these gaps should be done in a manner that maximizes Israel’s security and the future viability of a negotiated two-state solution.