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Fact & Figures

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November 2000

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak approves an initial plan to build the Wall in the northern and central West Bank in order to prevent vehicle crossings between the West Bank, excluding East Jerusalem, and Israel.

June 2001:

A Steering Committee created by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon recommends developing Ehud Barak’s plan in order to prevent Palestinian pedestrians from crossing into Israel in specific areas.

July 2001:

The Israeli Cabinet approves a plan that outlines these specific areas.

29 March 2002:

The first Military Orders for land confiscation are issued by Brigadier General Yitshak Eitan, Commander of the Israeli Army in the West Bank.

1 April 2002:

Operation Defensive Shield, the largest Israeli military operation in the West Bank since the 1967 War. The operation included the 39-day siege of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem and the siege of Jenin Refugee Camp.

23 June 2002:

A plan for the Wall is approved by the Israeli Cabinet but its final route is still to be determined. The responsibility for this will rest with the Prime Minister and Minister of Defence.

March 2003:

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon indicates that an additional section of the Wall may extend into the Jordan Valley. This “Eastern Section” plan has never been formally approved for construction, but Israel has in effect created an “invisible Wall” in the Jordan Valley, through the creation of extensive closed military zones and by-pass roads.  

8 December 2003:

The United Nations General Assembly issues Resolution ES-10/14 requesting an Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice on the legal status of the Wall.

1 June 2004:

Pre-empting the findings of the International Court of Justice, the Israeli High Court of Justice issues a finding regarding a 40-kilometre stretch of the Wall, north of Jerusalem. In the case Beit Sourik Village Council v. the Government of Israel et al., the Israeli High Court of Justice found that the impact of the Wall in that area was disproportionate to the military advantage sought, but also legitimised its presence by recognising the authority of the Military Commander on the construction of a Wall in the OPT.

9 June 2004:

The International Court of Justice issues its Advisory Opinion on the Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, condemning the Wall built in the West Bank as illegal under international law.

10 July 2005:

The final route of the Wall is approved by the Israeli Cabinet.

30 April 2006:

Despite its commitment to finalisation in 2005, the Israeli Cabinet approves various amendments to the route of the Annexation Wall in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

These amendments affect, for example, Beit Iksa Biddu and Beit Surik villages (Jerusalem Governorate), which are further encircled by the Wall and by the 443 Road. Al Walaja village (Bethlehem Governorate) is also surrounded as a result of the rerouting, which disconnects villagers from their farmland.

17 October 2006:

The United Nations Secretary-General submits a report proposing an institutional framework for the Register of Damage Caused by the Construction of the Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

4 September 2007:

The Israeli High Court ruled that a 1.7-kilometre section of the Wall encircling the Palestinian village of Bil‘in (Ramallah Governorate) was to be re-routed and partially dismantled. The court had reservations on the security needs the Wall would address. The Court held that, “[i]n light of the provisional nature of the fence as a security measure, it is improper to plan the route according to considerations related to invalid building plans or to plans that are not expected to be implemented in the near future.”

9 July 2009:

Five years after the International Court of Justice Advisory Opinion the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights submits that “the situation has not improved Israel continues to disregard the views of the International Court of Justice, and the Wall remains under construction.”

22 March 2011:

United Nations General Assembly Resolution A/RES/65/179 once again recalls the Advisory Opinion rendered on 9 July 2004 by the International Court of Justice as well as resolutions ES-10/15 of 20 July 2004 and ES-10/17 of 15 December 2006.

29 June 2011:

Five years after the Israeli High Court of Justice ruling of 2007 on the village of Bil’in, the illegally built Wall is relocated to the west, thus handing back 745 dunums of farmland previously occupied by the Wall. However, the borders of the settlement of Modi’in Illit, which is illegal under international law, still occupy some 1,300 dunums and the village continues its struggle against the Wall.


Total length

708 kilometres, approximately twice the length of the 1949 Green Line.


Ranges between 80-100 metres.

Total area located between the Wall and the Green Line:

9.4 per cent of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem and No Man's Land.

Area inside the West Bank:

When completed, it is estimated that 85 per cent of the Wall will have been built within the West Bank. This leaves only 15 per cent built on the Green Line, beyond the borders of the OPT.


The composition of the Wall varies between locations, including layered razor wire, military road patrols, sand paths, trace footprints,  trenches, surveillance cameras, electronic fences and 8-9 metre high concrete slabs. Approximately 5 per cent (37 kilometres) of the total length of the Annexation Wall is made of concrete, especially in urban areas such as Jerusalem, Toulkarem and Qalqiliya.

Currently Completed:

As of April 2012, 438 kilometres (61.8 per cent) of the Wall has been completed, with a further 8.2 per cent (60 kilometres) currently under construction and a further 213 kilometres (30 per cent) planned.


Completion of the Wall is not expected until 2020, some 18 years after its construction began. The cost of the Wall thus far is estimated at USD 1.8 billion.


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