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The failure to finish the West Bank security fence is costing Israeli lives, like the five people murdered at the Netanya Mall

Security Fence (Amit Shabi)

Five more Israelis were murdered and fifty-five others were injured when a Palestinian suicide bomber blew up at the Netanya mall this week. There have been five suicide bombings since February when Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas announced the 'tahadiya' cease-fire. Numerous other attempts have been foiled by Israel's counter-terror operations and the West Bank security fence. Briefing the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Deputy Chief of Staff Moshe Kaplinsky said not one terrorist has penetrated the security barrier and that it has saved Israeli lives.

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It follows then that Israeli lives, possibly those in Netanya, have been lost because only a third of the security fence has been completed. Petitions to the High Court of Justice over the route of the fence are responsible for some of the delays that have left big gaps in the fence. The latest word is that the life-saving security fence will not be finished until the end of 2006. The bill will top more than two billion dollars.The Netanya atrocity has penalized the Palestinians themselves. The new 'Safe Passage' plan for Palestinian mobility between the West Bank and Gaza Strip has now been put on hold.

Suicide bombers from the Gaza Strip have been stymied from entering Israel since the security fence was erected there. That's why Gaza terrorists have resorted to launching Qassam rockets and mortars over the fence at Israeli towns and villages in the Negev.

David Essing

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