Many people argue that the Israeli are unrighteous occupiers of Palestinian land. These concerns, however, seem quite groundless, since the country has historically lost control of more territories than it ever used to detain. The facts say that the State of Israel has a right to expand its borders, and it is also entitled to the border protection (i.e., the Security Fence) for the sake of protection.
The accusations of the Israeli expanding their lands unrightfully revolve around the statement that the country took hold of some Palestinian lands after it declared independence. One must not forget, however, the context in which land occupation occurred. Palestine never recognized Israel’s independence, and there were as many as eight Arab invasions on the immediate aftermath of the declaration.
The capture of Arab lands by the Israeli was an act of defense, which was miraculous, considering that Arab forces outnumbered the Israeli. After that, land has been gradually withdrawn from Israel, leaving it with a mere 30% of what it used to own. On the aftermath of the 1967 war, it returned the lands to Syria and Lebanon at varying times, and in 1979, it was forced to submit the Sinai Peninsula. In the early 2000s, it withdrew from the small patch of Jordan it owned, and in 2005, it abandoned the Gaza Strip, evacuating its citizens (Megdal, Varady, and Eden 141). But even so, the movement of Hamas was not satisfied. It did not acknowledge the Israeli independence.
On one scandalous occasion (a parade of Palestinian forces in 2014 in Gaza), one of Hamas’ founders publicly vowed to obliterate Israel (At its 27th birthday parade, Hamas vows to destroy Israel n.pag.). The situation can be summed up as follows: Israel is a state the size of Rhode Island, and its immediate neighbors swear to destroy it. An expansion of Israeli borders, therefore, would be a logical act to gain some territorial protection and draw forces in case of an attack.
Border protection is another act Israel is perfectly entitled to. The Security Fence was started in early 2000s, and although many Israelis wish it was not there, they simultaneously feel its presence is absolutely necessary. The Fence serves as a reminder of the conflict the State is locked up in, but it also saves lives. Its main purpose is to secure, not to steal the land, and its existence is perfectly justified. Firstly, Palestine never recognized the legitimacy of the borders imposed by the UN, which casts doubt on its claims of the Fence’s illegality.
The areas Israel claimed during the Arab’s attacks contained many Jewish citizens, which Palestine has never acknowledged as a viable reason to detain these territories. Nor has it made any statements about the victims of the terrorist attacks that persisted long after Israel has returned the lands it ceased. Which is another factor that makes the Fence a necessity. Since 2002, the number of casualties due to cross-border terrorist attacks has reduced from more than 450 to 8 (Starr and Dubinsky 138).
To conclude, Israel has been historically trapped in a territorial conflict. This is not to say that all of Israeli actions at varying times were acts of protection, but currently, the state seems to be withering away. Given the present hostile attitudes, it is left with no choice but to strengthen and expand its territories and protect what it already has.
Megdal, Sharon B., Robert G. Varady, and Susanna Eden. Shared Borders, Shared Waters: Israeli-Palestinian and Colorado River Basin Water Challenges. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 2012. Print.
Starr, Harvey, and Stanley Dubinsky. The Israeli Conflict System: Analytic Approaches. Abingdon-on-Thames: Routledge, 2015. Print.