The Israeli regime’s siege of the Gaza Strip is going to be further concretized with a 96 km wall that will stretch across the border surrounding the enclave. Already, Palestinians in Gaza are suffering under a blockade that is slowly draining their resources and has stretched thin their livelihoods but clearly this is not enough for the Israelis.
Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth has recently revealed that Tel Aviv is planning to build a massive concrete barrier which will extend both below and above ground under the pretext of preventing Hamas-built tunnels from crossing into the occupied territories.
The project is expected to cost US$568 million. But the price for the Palestinians will be much higher. Indeed the plan will be financially costly for the Israelis but more so for those trapped in Gaza.
In February, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to construct barriers all around the occupied territories that are claimed by the Israeli regime.
“At the end, in the State of Israel, as I see it, there will be a fence that spans it all,” he added. “I’ll be told, ‘This is what you want, to protect the villa?’ The answer is yes. Will we surround all of the State of Israel with fences and barriers? The answer is yes. In the area that we live in, we must defend ourselves against the wild beasts.”
The “beasts” he mentioned, however, are the victims of the Israeli occupation and constant aggression. If the Palestinians are “beasts” as Netanyahu and many other Israelis proclaim, then they are only of their own creation.
Symbolically, the wall will stand as a representation for what the Israeli regime means to Palestinian lives. It is a barrier that separates them from their dreams, freedom, and rights. It is also a concrete manifestation of the Israeli-imposed siege as it blocks their way to the outside world and vice versa. The blockade has been in force for 10 years and has exacted a hefty price from the Palestinians on economic and humanitarian levels.
On top of that, Israeli wars on the strip have caused extensive damage. More than 2,000 Palestinians were killed in the latest war, thousands were left homeless and destitute while the blockade further aggravated the situation in the aftermath of the conflict. To this day, Palestinians in Gaza bear the brunt of these wars.
This would not be the first wall to surround the Gaza Strip and it definitely does not overshadow the existence of the Apartheid Wall that encloses the West Bank.
Yet the blame is always on Hamas, the armed Palestinian resistance group that has refused to acquiesce to the Israeli regime and remain a passive element in the Palestinian fabric. The Israeli regime continues to plan wars, impose restrictions, and build barriers in a bid to bend the Palestinians’ resolve. However, every time they tighten the noose thinking this time it will work, they end up being disappointed by the Palestinians’ determination so they step up their measures and raise the walls a meter or two higher.