Widespread condemnation on social media followed the Israeli announcement of the inauguration of a 65 kilometers long iron and steel wall around its borders with the occupied Gaza strip on Tuesday, December 7. The move is a continuation of Israel’s brutal suffocation of the around two million people in the Palestinian territory of Gaza.
On the Gaza Strip side of the map, within the confines of Israel's walls, the Mediterranean sea, and the border with Egypt, live two million Palestinians, cramped in a tiny geographic area. It looks gray, west of the wall. It's all that cement of those densely populated areas.
— Jehad Abusalim جِهَاد أبو سليم (@JehadAbusalim) December 7, 2021
The wall was inaugurated by Israeli defense minister Benny Gantz who claimed it was essential for the security of Israel. According to the Israeli media, the construction of the wall cost over USD 1.1 billion and took three and half years for completion. It is at least 20 feet high and a portion of the wall also runs below the ground to prevent movement through underground tunnels. The wall has advanced sensors and radar which can detect movements through the sea and air as well.
Israel already controls Gaza’s sea borders through heavy surveillance. Gaza’s 14 kilometer long border with Egypt is also blocked, making Gazans completely trapped in one of the world’s most densely populated regions.
Palestinian journalist Rawoand Altatar based in Gaza asserted that the wall “tightens the noose” on the residents of Gaza who are already suffering from the Israeli blockade for over a decade now.
#Gaza is the largest prison in the world! 😢
Yesterday, the Israeli occupation inaugurated the great wall surrounding the Gaza Strip, both under and above the ground, which tightens the noose on its residents, in light of the siege and continuous suffering. pic.twitter.com/3wL1uM2wYO
— روند التتر Rawoand Altatar (@rawoandaltatar) December 8, 2021
The Gaza wall is similar to the walls constructed by Israel inside the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, called apartheid walls by human right groups and activists. The UN in 2003 and the International Court of Justice in 2004 ruled that the walls inside the occupied West Bank are illegal.
Gaza is already under a complete air, sea and land blockade imposed by Israel in collaboration with Egypt to prevent the movement of goods and people to and from the territory. This blockade was imposed following Hamas’ victory in the Palestinian elections in 2006. The result has been the immense deterioration of the overall living standard of Gazans as poverty and hunger have risen. The airstrikes and war carried out by the occupation forces have killed and injured thousands of Palestinians and destroyed a large part of Gaza’s crumbling civilian infrastructure, forcing the UN to call it “world largest open air prison.” In May this year, Israeli air strikes inside Gaza killed over 260 Palestinians and injured close to 2,000 others.