After praising Trump's Mexico wall, Israel fortifies its own

After praising Trump's Mexico wall, Israel fortifies its own
Israel seals gaps in its 'apartheid wall' to prevent illegal immigration of Palestinians, a fortnight after Prime Minister Netanyahu praised Trump's plans to build a wall along the Mexican border.
2 min read
06 February, 2017
Construction of the wall came to a halt in 2007, leaving many "gaps" [Getty]
Israel has erected an additional 10km of the West Bank wall that separates Israel from Palestinian territory, Israeli media outlets reported on Sunday.

The new construction comes as part of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's July pledge to fortify the "gaps" in the barrier, which Palestinians describe as an "apartheid wall".

According to the Jerusalem Post, the recent completion of the new 10km stretch will be followed by 42km more that will run along the Green Line near the Hebron Hills in the next six months.

The newly-erected walls will fortify a segment of the barrier that begins at the Tarqumiya checkpoint in western Hebron and rolls out southward to the Meitar checkpoint.

In August, the Israeli military's Chief of Staff, Gadi Eisenkot, claimed that there is an urgent need to close the wall's gaps in order to prevent what he said was around 50,000 - 60,000 Palestinians from crossing into Israel daily. Eisenkot also claimed that the concrete barrier will reduce attacks by Palestinians.

Israel began the construction of its West Bank barrier during the Second Intifada in 2000. Work was almost completely halted in 2007, leaving 300km of "gaps" in the controversial wall.

Opponents of the wall have argued that the barrier has forced racial and religious segregation, as well as the creation of Palestinian ghettoes that are cut off from basic services.

Last week, Israel's president was forced to apologise for Netanyahu's tweet praising President Donald Trump's plans to build a wall on the Mexico border, saying it was a "great idea".