DECEMBER 20, 2003
Security fence in Israel works
IN HER Dec. 5 letter lambasting Israel’s security barrier (“Motives behind Israel’s wall”), Ellen Cantarow admonishes: “The Globe owes its readers commentaries that don’t make up the facts.” Yet Cantarow does just that in alleging that “a report on security matters by Israel’s state comptroller contends that the wall will not prevent suicide attacks but will result in their increase.” In fact, the comptroller’s annual report, released Sept. 30, does the opposite, citing decreases in attacks where the barrier has been built (in Hebrew at www.mevaker.gov.il).
For example, the report states: “In July 2003, the head of the Israel Security Service, Shabak, said to a representative of the comptroller’s office that the number of infiltrators from Judea and Samaria into Israel is declining at a more rapid rate as construction progresses on sections of the barrier between Salaam and Tulkarem and surrounding Jerusalem and as attackers look for alternative routes where there is no barrier. The head of the Shabak also indicated that from September 2000 until July 2003, 127 suicide attacks were carried out in Israel, 124 of them came from the Judea and Samaria” where the barrier is still incomplete, “and only three came from the Gaza Strip,” which is completely fenced off.
The report suggests that the barrier interferes with terrorists’ plans, that checkpoints aren’t stopping them, and that the fence should be completed quickly. Hence it is Cantarow who, in her own words, “misrepresents Israel’s security wall.”
SENIOR RESEARCH ANALYST
COMMITTEE FOR ACCURACY IN MIDDLE EAST REPORTING IN AMERICA