FAQs

 

About the Apartheid Wall:
 
 
1)  How long is the Wall?
 
In total the Wall will run over 800 km in the West Bank.
 
 
2)  Where is the Wall being built?
 
The Wall is being built deep within the West Bank as it zigzags throughout 10 out of the 11 West Bank districts. The Wall, on this path, de facto annexes nearly 50% of the West Bank and completely destroys all continuity of life in the region.
 
The Wall begins at the northern most point in the West Bank and runs through the western districts of the West Bank to the north of Jerusalem; the Wall is not being built on or near the 1967 Green Line and at points reaches 16 km (some 10 miles) deep right into the heart of the West Bank in order to annex major Israeli Jewish-only settlements (more details in Question 9). After cutting through neighborhoods and villages in East Jerusalem, the Wall picks up by Bethlehem and continues south to Hebron. In eastern West Bank, Israel is implementing a number of infrastructural and administrative measures to de facto isolate the Jordan Valley.
 
The Gaza Strip is since the mid nineties surrounded by a Wall that encloses the tiny enclave. 
 
 
3)  What does the Wall look like?
 
The Wall takes on a variety of forms; around Qalqiliya the Wall is pure concrete eight meters (25 feet) high and fortified with armed watchtowers and in other areas it may be part concrete/part fence or a series of razor wire and/or electric fencing all of which includes a 70-100 meter (approximately 230-330 feet) “buffer zone” with trenches, roads, razor wire, cameras, and trace paths for footprints. In Bethlehem and Jerusalem, the Wall is made up of a combination of these edifices. 
 
Regardless of the Wall’s structural differences, the implications are the same for Palestinians-- the inability to travel for employment, medical care, and education atop of the theft of land and resources by and for Israel and in many cases it results in forced displacement.
 
For photos see the Stop the Wall Flickr pages.
 
 
4)  How much of the Wall has been completed and when is it scheduled to be completed?
 
The Israeli government began building the Wall in June 2002 in the northern West Bank districts of Jenin, Tulkarem, and Qalqiliya and aimed for its completion in 2005. At the end of July 2003, Israel announced the “completion” of this section, the so-called “first phase”, which stretches some 145 km (90 miles). Today some 70 percent are built. 
 
Popular resistance had a primary role in delaying the completion. Construction was halted in some areas because of resistance by affected communities. Court cases were initiated, which took six or seven months, during which time all construction was put on hold. So the deadline was pushed back from 2005 to 2008. In 2008 Israel moved completion to 2011. Currently, the new deadline set is 2020.
 
 
5)  Is the Wall temporary?
 
At the cost of 12 million NIS or 2.8 million USD per km, the Wall is not a “temporary” measure but the continuation of Israel’s theft of Palestinian land and iron grip of Palestinian resources. The Wall, through its path which is marked by land annexation and destruction, is clearly a “tool” for the Israeli government in maximizing the confiscation of Palestinian land for future settlement expansion. The devastating reality which the Wall imposes is meant to ensure that Palestinians will be forcibly expelled from areas Israel looks to annex and “demographically contained” in other areas by creating permanent “facts on the ground” for the continued colonization of Palestine.
 
 
6)  How is the Wall affecting Palestinian communities?
 
The Wall is devastating every aspect of Palestinian life—already tens of communities have experienced the loss of land, water, and resources which provide their sustenance as well as the destruction of community and personal property. Palestinian villages and towns near the Wall have become isolated ghettos where movement in and out is limited, if not impossible, thus severing travel for work, health, education, and visits to friends and family.
 
The Wall is intended to deny any prospects for survival in communities, and therefore is not only the negation of Palestinian national aspirations and right to self-determination, but also a tool in the creeping displacement of the population and the realization of the Zionist/Israeli expansionist plans.
 
Further resources: 
 
Website section: Community Voices offer personal testimonies and community case studies from those affected by the Wall. 
 
Report: Palestinian Towns and Villages: Between Isolation and Expulsion. This report draws on testimonies from Palestinians living all over the West Bank about their experiences living the ghettos created by the Apartheid Wall and Israeli Occupation. 
 
 
7)  How is the Wall related to the Israeli settlement policy?
 
The Wall is the continuation of the Zionist/Israeli expansionist agenda of stealing Palestinian land and forcibly expelling residents—the Wall’s path equates to the de facto annexation of nearly 50% of the West Bank and almost all of the Israeli settlements. The Wall will de facto annex 98% of the settler population.
 
Around and in Jerusalem the Wall is completing the Zionist/Israeli project of “Greater Jerusalem”, formally endorsed by the Knesset in 1997, which aims at “judaizing” and annexing East Jerusalem into a Jewish metropolitan area. 
 
The path of the Wall has been openly dictated by intentions to include settlements within the Israeli government and society. In March 2003, the Yesha Council of settlers worked with the Israeli government to extend the Wall’s path further into the West Bank south of Qalqiliya in order to bring the settlements of Ariel, Immanuel, and Qedumim into the Israeli “controlled area”.
 
 
8)  Would it be acceptable if the Wall was built on the 1967 Green Line?
 
It is entirely unacceptable to build the Wall on the 1967 Green Line—there is a fundamental injustice in caging in an entire population. While the 1967 Green Line is advocated by the UN and many others to be the “international border” between Israel and the West Bank, the fact is that, following the 1948 war and the proclamation of the State of Israel, communities were forcibly and artificially divided into east/west by this “border”. However, the residents continue to share social services, markets, and familiar ties. To advocate that the Wall could be built on the 1967 Green Line is to legitimize the forcible separation of these communities.
 
 
9)  Who is building the Wall?
 
While the overall responsibility over the construction of the Wall is with the Israeli ministry of defense and the Israeli state, the Wall could not be built without the active involvement of dozens of Israeli and international companies. These companies are knowingly and directly complicit with the grave breach of international humanitarian law (a war crime) and violations of Palestinian rights caused by the construction of the Wall. 
 
The most important companies are: Elbit Systems, Magal Security Systems, Israel Aerospace Industries, Controp Precision Technologies, Cement Roadstone Holdings, Cape Gate, Ashtrom Group, Tyco Electronics. For more, see factsheet below.
 
A number of these companies are military companies involved in “homeland security” as well as weapons development and production. 
 
Stop the Wall calls on all people of conscience, organizations, institutions and governments to boycott and divest from these companies and where possible, hold them accountable in front of national and international courts for their complicity in Israeli war crimes. 
 
See the “Divest Elbit Systems” section and resources. 
 
 
10)  What is the Wall’s status under international law?
 
The Wall has been confirmed illegal by the International Court of Justice in its 2004 advisory opinion on the legal consequences of Israeli construction of the Wall. The ICJ has mandated Israel to stop its construction, dismantle existing parts of the Wall, repeal the associated regime and to give reparations for the damages created. The ICJ further reminded the international community of their duty not to recognize or to aid or abet grave violations of international law by third states. 
 
Neither Israel nor the international community have to day complied with their obligations under international law. 
 
The Wall, as well as the Occupation itself, comprises a wide range of violations to international law. A major violation of the Apartheid Wall is the unilateral demarcation of a new border in the West Bank that amounts to effective annexation of occupied land (United Nations Charter, art. 2.4).
 
Furthermore, destruction for and building of the Wall has amounted to numerous more violations of the IV Geneva Convention (IV GC) including the destruction of land and/or property (art. 53) and collective punishment (art. 33). 
 
The Wall also breaches the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR, 1966) and the International Covenant on Economical, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR, 1966), both of which Israel has signed. The rights violated include: freedom of movement (ICCPR, art. 12), property (ICCPR, art. 1,), health (ICESCR, art.12 and IV GC, art. 32), education (ICESCR, art.13, and IV GC, art. 50), work (ICESCR, art. 6), and food (ICESCR, art. 11).
 
Under Article 1 of the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid (1979) the Wall constitutes a “Crime against Humanity”. It divides populations on the basis of race and ethnicity and discrimination against residents in the West Bank to benefit illegal Israeli settlers and thus complies with the definition of “apartheid”.
 
Further resources:
 
Please see our International Law section
 
Please see the decision of the International Court of Justice: http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/files/131/1671.pdf 
 
Report: Rights without remedy (co-produced with COHRE). The report examines the inadequacy of measures taken by Israel and the international community to ensure that the ICJ’s Advisory Opinion is implemented or redress provided to victims of damages or human rights violations caused by the Wall.
 
 
 
About the Stop the Wall Campaign
 
 
10)   What are Stop the Wall’s key goals? 
 
The Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign is calling for:
 
1) the immediate cessation of the building of the Wall, 
2) the dismantling of all parts of the Wall and its related zones already built, 
3) the return of lands confiscated for the path of the Wall, and 
4) the compensation of damages and lost income due to the destruction of land and property (this compensation is in addition to, not instead of, restitution of land).
 
 
11)   Does Stop the Wall support a one-state or two-state solution? 
 
Stop the Wall does not explicitly support one solution against the other. We believe that our struggle has to focus on gaining our human and national rights. Within the consensus on the achievement of our rights, members, volunteers and supporters of Stop the Wall have and may keep different opinions about the best solution in terms of statehood. 
 
However, it is clear for all that there is no space for a two-state solution as long as the Wall continues to rip apart the West Bank and creates a de facto Bantustan and ghetto situation. A two-state solution cannot be a cover up for a de facto Bantustan option. The Wall has to be torn down to make any lasting and just peace and solution possible. 
 
Further, Stop the Wall sees the struggle against the Wall as an integral part of the overall struggle for liberation of the Palestinian people. Therefore, the struggle to tear down the apartheid wall is part of the broader struggle for Palestinian rights as defined by international law and UN resolutions, namely: 
 
  • The end of the occupation and colonization of the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967, as well as the dismantling of the Wall.
  • Implementation of the right of return for the Palestinian refugees to their homes and lands from which they have been expelled.
  • End of racial discrimination and apartheid against the Palestinian citizens of Israel. 
None of the above rights can be compromised. 
 
 
12)  Does Stop the Wall support some Palestinian political parties?
 
Stop the Wall does not support any political party in specific. Stop the Wall supports the unification of Palestinian political actors to promote popular resistance and to uphold Palestinian fundamental rights.
 
Affiliation to its popular committees is on individual basis and activists in the popular committees come from many different political, ideological and social backgrounds.
 
Stop the Wall is a national secular platform created by people and organizations with different party affiliations and without party affiliations meet and on which they unify their actions against the Wall and the settlements and for ongoing popular resistance against the occupation. 
 
Stop the Wall is an active member in a number of broad Palestinian coalitions and is a key actor in promoting initiatives that bring Palestinian secular parties and activists together.
 
 
13)  Has Stop the Wall contacts with some Israeli organizations which support the Palestinian struggle? 
 
Stop the Wall does have contacts with Israeli organizations which support the Palestinian rights. 
 
Stop the Wall popular committees decide on a case to case basis how they structure their relationships with Israeli organizations and activists supporting their efforts, such as Israeli Anarchists against the Wall. 
 
Stop the Wall exchanges information with Israeli organizations on a case to case basis on specific initiatives. 
 
Stop the Wall insists that cooperation with Israeli organizations is to be based on: 
 
  • The refusal of Zionism and the full respect for Palestinian rights, including the right of return and the right of Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality.
  • A critical understanding of cooperation between colonizer and colonized (even if the former struggles against this situation, the privileges are still present) and acceptance of  Palestinian leadership in the struggle.
  • An understanding that the most important task for Israeli organizations is creating spaces of contradiction and change within Israeli society and to support the Palestinian struggle at international level.
 
 
14)   What is the strategic vision of Stop the Wall? 
 
As a popular resistance movement we aim to give an example of resistance and – through our popular committees and support to the fledgling Palestinian youth movement – of structures of resistance that contribute effectively to the wider struggle of the Palestinian national democratic movement. It is our vision as a popular resistance movement to work towards the national aspirations, above all the right of return, self-determination and an independent, democratic Palestinian state with its capital as Jerusalem and based on pluralism, rule of law and respect for human rights and social justice. We reinforce the unity of Palestinians throughout the 1967 and 1948 territories and the Diaspora. 
 
Stop the Wall believes that at this stage it has to be a national priority to reinforce popular resistance - the united struggle by a people that are educated, critical and actively mobilized to contribute to the overall goals of the national body. One of our most important goals is to find a way to implicate the national forces to put their full weight behind the popular resistance, to make it their top priority. After the failure of the ‘peace process’ and years of 'bureaucratization' of the Palestinian struggle during the Oslo period, Stop the Wall works to bring back protagonism to the grassroots fostering the participation of the farmers, the workers, the youth and the women in the political decision making and popular action. We have to give particular attention and support to the growing new generation of Palestinians and provide the youth with the lessons, guidance and trust they need and deserve so that they can continue to lead our struggle until one day we will be free and able to return to our homes. The decisions that are to be made regard the future of us all and the most fundamental questions of our national and human rights and can't be left in the hands of a small elite.
 
As a popular resistance movement we educate and mobilize people in protests and public events. However, we insist on our right to resist military occupation with all internationally sanctioned means and believe that it is up to the Palestinian people to tactically prioritize and choose the most effective forms of struggle. 
 
At international level, we believe in the importance of truly global solidarity and the unity of anti-colonial and social justice struggles of people across the world. The global solidarity developed during the times of the anti-apartheid movement in the 80s, gives clear indicators how citizens all over the globe can support the Palestinian efforts and can effect change even from across the oceans. Therefore our focus on promoting boycotts, divestment and sanctions campaigns. 
 
We further believe that the United Nations – who have rubberstamped with UN Resolution 181 our expulsion, occupation and colonization – have an important role to play in order to hold Israel accountable for its crimes. In particular, the decision on the legal consequences of the Wall by the International Court of Justice has to be activated together with a series of other measures that hold Israel accountable, including a military embargo on Israel. 
 
 
15)  What forms of resistance does Stop the Wall promote?
 
Stop the Wall promotes popular resistance; this is grassroots and people-driven activism in defense of human rights. This takes a myriad of forms, such as awareness raising seminars, festivals, media events, protests etc. The actions are aimed to oppose Israeli policies of occupation, colonization and apartheid and include an active support for the boycott and anti-normalization movement within Palestine. Stop the Wall further promotes initiatives to support Palestinian farmers and communities to stay on their threatened land and under extreme conditions of ghettoization imposed on them through the Wall and its related infrastructure. 
 
For photos of Stop the Wall’s activities see our Flickr page.
 
 
16)  How can you support the popular resistance promoted by Stop the Wall?
 
The most effective support for Palestinian popular resistance is a combined action of protection for the activists daily targeted by Israeli repression, awareness raising and ending international complicity with Israel. 
 
We ask you to:
 
  • Join campaign Stop the Wall promotes to counter Israeli escalation of repression. 
  • Use our resources to raise awareness about the Wall and Israeli policies of occupation and apartheid 
  • Join the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement to stop international complicity with Israeli policies. 
 
Ultimately, only the end of international financial, political, military and cultural support to Israeli apartheid will bring about the necessary support to the Palestinian struggle that will allow to achieve effective and lasting change and bring justice and liberation to Palestine. 
 
You can help Stop the Wall’s international outreach by volunteering – online or in our offices – in the preparation of resources, translation and research. Please contact: mobilize@stopthewall.org. 
 
Further resources on Israeli repression and ways to support the Palestinian popular struggle:
 
 
 
17)   Does Stop the Wall support specific parties or government internationally?
 
Stop the Wall does not support any government or political party as such. 
 
Stop the Wall seeks to work closely with any government, organization and party that are ready to work towards the achievement of Palestinian liberation and to hold Israel accountable for its crimes, if this is done within a framework of universal respect for human rights. 
 
Stop the Wall recognizes and is grateful for the positive steps done in this respect as well as certain openness on behalf of some government to address continuing forms of complicity with Israeli apartheid and to take further action to promote Palestinian rights. 
 
Stop the Wall measures its position regarding parties and governments to the degree to which they act or promote action to support Palestinian rights within a framework of universal respect for human rights. This, however, cannot be understood as an overall evaluation of the parties or governments as this is not the task of Stop the Wall. 
 
 
18)  Does Stop the Wall accept donations?
 
Stop the Wall accepts private and organizational donations. So far, we cannot provide you yet with an online donation option. However, you can contact mobilize@stopthewall.org in order or effect bank transfers or send cheques.

 

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