Walling Off The Peace

The Israelis say their West Bank fence is for self-protection; Palestinians see it as a land grab. Photographer Larry Towell of Magnum travels the dividing line

The idea seemed reasonable enough. Faced with an onslaught of Palestinian suicide bombers, Israel decided to build a barrier between itself and the West Bank. A similar wall around the Gaza Strip has ensured that no bomber has crossed from Gaza into Israel in the past three years. But the exact placement of the new fence is causing concern. Instead of following the Green Line--the demarcation that existed before Israel conquered the West Bank in 1967 and the line Palestinian leaders imagine as a border for their future state--Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon pushed the fence inside the West Bank to...

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