B’Tselem: 875,000 Palestinians directly harmed by Israel’s wall

Simplified map of the separation barrier (Map: B’Tselem, 2003)

A newly published map by B’Tselem and an analysis of the ramifications of the current route and statistics on the magnitude of the violation of Palestinian human rights that will result from construction of the separation barrier. It shows that 875,000 Palestinians are directly harmed by the wall, 263,000 Palestinians imprisoned in enclaves, including 115,000 between the barrier and the Green Line.

  • More than a quarter of a million Palestinians will be trapped in enclaves to the east and west of the main barrier.
  • The barrier will separate approximately 200,000 Palestinians who live in East Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank.
  • Over 100 Palestinian communities will be separated from their agricultural land.
  • 16% of the West Bank will be surrounded by barriers.

    The separation barrier will severely infringe the rights of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians. The gross violation of their freedom of movement will restrict their access to work sites, medical treatment, and educational institutions.

    Route of the Separation Barrier in the Bethlehem area (Map: B’Tselem, 2003)


    On 1 October 2003, the Israeli government approved the new route proposed by the defense establishment for continuation of the separation barrier. In the same decision, the cabinet authorized the prime minister and the defense minister to approve changes in the route at a later date. The text of the decision was announced immediately, but the map of the route was not made available to the public and it took almost a month until it was published.

    Approximately 200 kilometers were previously approved by the government, and the majority has already been constructed. The new sections approved by the government cover 270 kilometers, as follows:

  • 140 kilometers from the settlement Elqana, south of Qalqiliya, to Ofer Camp, near Ramallah (Stage 3)
  • 115 kilometers from the Har Gilo settlement, south of Jerusalem, to the Carmel settlement, south of Hebron (Stage 4)
  • 15 kilometers along the northeastern border of the Jerusalem Municipality (in the eastern section of the Jerusalem Envelope)

    Most of the route that was approved and constructed prior to this decision ran within the West Bank. The same is true of the new sections, which in some cases will run even deeper in the West Bank. For example, around the Ariel settlement – the route extends some 22 kilometers east of the Green Line (the Israeli border).

    The approved route of the new sections will result in 44 settlements being situated west of the barrier. More than 650,000 dunams (4 dunams = 1 acre), comprising 11.6 percent of the West Bank, will lie between the barrier and the Green Line. Added to this, are the 12 settlements established in East Jerusalem, which comprise 70,000 dunams (1.3 percent of the West Bank).

    Setting the route within the West Bank will affect the lives of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians:

  • 42 villages, containing 102,000 residents, will become enclaves west of the barrier, cut off from the rest of the West Bank. The map approved by the government indicates that these villages will be enclosed by means of secondary barriers, within six detached, internal enclaves.
  • The barrier will separate the 200,000 Palestinians living in East Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank.
  • 71 other Palestinian communities, with 367,000 residents, lie near the eastern side of the new sections, and some of these residents will be separated from their farmland on the western side of the barrier. Some of these communities lie east of the route, but will be surrounded by the barrier on three sides, and thus they too, will become isolated enclaves.

    Experience in the areas where the separation barrier has already been built shows that construction of the barrier within the West Bank causes widescale infringement of the human rights of Palestinians living nearby.

    Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians will have severe difficulty reaching their workplaces, educational institutions, and medical treatment.

    It is clear that continued construction of the barrier within the West Bank (in accordance with the Cabinet’s decision of October 2003) will lead to wide-scale infringement of the human rights of the Palestinian residents.

    To download the full map (1,669 KB in PDF format) click here.

    Related Links:

  • Stop the Wall Campaign
  • Separation Barrier: Background, B’Tselem
  • Separation Barrier: Statistics, B’Tselem
  • Separation Barrier: Next Stage, B’Tselem
  • Separation Barrier: Map, B’Tselem
  • Separation Barrier: Jerusalem, B’Tselem