Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has hinted that a reinforced fence may be set up around the entirety of the occupied territories similar to the one Tel Aviv is currently building on the territories bordering Jordan.
Netanyahu visited the fence that is under construction on Jordan’s border with the occupied territories on Tuesday, when he said, “At the end of the day,… there will be a fence like this one surrounding its (the occupied territories’) entirety,” The Times of Israel reported.
Israel came into existence in 1948, when it occupied Palestinian land along with vast expanses of other Arab territories during full-fledged military operations. The occupied lands also include Lebanon’s Shebaa Farms and Syria’s Golan Heights.
In 1967, it occupied and later annexed the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East al-Quds (Jerusalem) in a move never recognized by the international community. Tel Aviv withdrew from the Palestinian enclave of the Gaza Strip in 2005, but has been keeping the territory under a crippling siege and regular deadly offensives.
Upon completion, the fence would close off all the occupied territories from non-occupied land, namely Gaza, as well as sovereign territories.
Trying to justify the move, the Israeli premier said, “In our neighborhood, we need to protect ourselves from the carnivorous animals.”
He said the project would also involve the destruction or prevention of the construction of subterranean cross-border tunnels. “If you’re thinking of erecting a fence there, you have to take into account that they could tunnel underneath it,” Netanyahu said.
The Gaza-based Palestinian resistance movement of Hamas uses the tunnels to bring in direly-needed supplies into the blockaded territory. The United Nations has warned that the strip – which has already had much of its infrastructure harmed as a result of the siege and Israeli attacks – may become uninhabitable by 2020.