To protect itself from car bombs and suicide bombers, Israel is constructing a security barrier that runs roughly along the perimeters of the 1949 armistice lines.
Unfortunately, huge chunks of the barrier have yet to be built. Construction has been held up by Palestinian and left-wing legal challenges in the Israeli courts, budgetary shortfalls, and—given that the barrier may well become Israel’s de facto border—by the political leadership’s inability to make tough decisions.
Since July 2007 only 56.9 percent, or 280 miles (450 km), of the fence has been completed. Out of the 490-mile (790-km) route, 62 miles (100 km) are tied up in court and another 99 miles (160 km) are in the planning stages.
With a belt of just 9 miles (14.5 km) from the West Bank security fence to the Mediterranean at some stretches, these gaps will need to be plugged soon.