Security and Occupation


The barrier dividing Israel from the West Bank is an ongoing area of disagreement. This lesson helps students understand that while from the Israeli perspective the barrier helps protect civilians, Palestinians view the barrier as an infringement of their human rights creating hardship in their daily life.

Learning Intention: I will have developed an understanding that all people need to feel secure.

I am learning that measures taken to protect one set of people can have a negative effect on the lives of others.

Success Criteria: I can describe actions taken by Israel to try to protect its citizens.

I can describe the impact of these actions on the Palestinian community.

Preparation: Have Walled Horizons video ready to play.

One copy of information sheet, “Israeli Perspective on Security for each group.


Activity 1

Consider the following questions:

Why does the Israeli government think the barrier is important?

      • The second intifada resulted in a number of terror attacks in Israel.
      • The Israeli government believes the barrier has reduced the number of attacks.
      • Like everyone else, Israelis want to feel safe.
      • The first responsibility of government is to keep its citizens safe.

What effect does the barrier have on the Palestinian community?

      • The wall takes away land that should belong to Palestinians.
      • Movement is restricted cutting people off from their lands and families making it difficult to maintain crops.
      • Access to employment, health care and other services is restricted.

How does the international community view the legality of the wall?

      • The international community recognises Israel’s right to keep its citizens safe.
      • The wall has been deemed illegal by the International Court of Justice.

Draw and complete a table to show how different communities view the barrier or wall.

Israeli Perspective Palestinian Perspective International Community Perspective
Needed for security, the Israeli government has the right to keep its citizens safe. The barrier does not follow the ‘green line’ but cuts deep into Palestinian land taking away almost 10% of the West Bank. Deemed illegal by International Court of Justice.
Effective in reducing terrorist attacks. Disrupts the lives and livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians. Israel ordered to remove the wall where it encroaches on Palestinian land.
Israel does not consider the decision by the ICJ as legally binding. Decline in attacks is due to political negotiation and not because of the barrier. UN and international organisations have called for building of the wall to stop.