The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, B’Tselem, reported that Israel is constructing the Separation Wall in the West Bank under the guise of Security, and that the routing of the Wall is made to enable Israeli settlement expansion in the West Bank.B’Tselem said that the fact that the Separation Wall cuts into the West Bank, and isolates the residents from each other and from their orchards, was and remains the main human rights violations of Palestinians living near the Wall.
Israel claims that the Wall route is based solely on “security considerations”. B’Tselem’s report challenges the Israeli allegations and proves that in many cases the primary reasons for choosing the route of the Wall are to enable settlement expansion and the establishment of new settlements.
The report provides an in-depth analysis of the expansion plans of four settlements and the connection between the plans and the route of the Separation Barrier.
The report also presents the principal findings in eight other cases in which the settlement’s expansion plans significantly affected the Barrier’s route.
B’Tselem’s report adds that “the currently approved route of the Wall leaves fifty-five settlements, twelve of them in East Jerusalem, separated from the rest of the West Bank and contiguous with the State of Israel”.
The report revealed that the route of the Wall was set hundreds and even thousands of meters away from houses at the edge of the settlements.
The report focused on twelve settlements in the West Bank, and the development plans for these settlements; “development plans” include annexing more Palestinian lands.
"The route of the Separation Barrier running near each of the twelve settlements discussed in the report more or less follows the borders of the outline development plan for the particular settlement, making it impossible to argue there is no connection between the route and the plan”, the B’Tselem report adds, “It is clear that contrary to the picture portrayed by the state, the settlement-expansion plans played a substantial role in the planning of the Wall’s route”.
Also, the B’Tselem report shows that planners of settlement expansion prepared their plans in many cases at the expense of compromised security. Settlement expansion and the construction of the Wall led to a significant increase in the violations carried by Israel against the Palestinian people.
B’Tselem considers all settlements established in the West Bank as illegal, and a breach of international law. Settlement presence, and the ongoing expansion and settlement construction is an act which is a direct violation to international law.
These constructions and expansions involve expropriating more Palestinian lands and destruction of private Palestinian property.
“The severity of the action is aggravated insofar as the primary goal in setting the Barrier’s route – expanding settlements and protecting the economic interests of Israeli real-estate developers – is in itself illegal”, B’Tselem.