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The Green Line

The Green Line refers to the 1949 Armistice Lines that developed to divide Israel and its opponents that included Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Egypt. The 1949 Armistice was the settlement that followed the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. The Green Line changed to include the territories Israel occupied after the 1967 Six-Day War, which included the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Israel also captured East Jerusalem and has never declared where its borders were.

The Green Line has great symbolic meaning as it defines what territories Israel claims. In later years, when there have been discussions of building a security fence to protect Israeli citizens from attacks, sensitivities arose about where it would run, because to have it run along the Green Line may be seen as a declaration that this will become the permanent border. If the security fence extends beyond the Green Line, it is seen as an act of aggression by the Palestinians. If a fence is placed in a position further into Israeli territory it may be interpreted as a concession by some Israelis.

The Green Line had many dirt roads across it, which allowed Palestinians to cross, but with the military occupation, Palestinians had to face checkpoints, identity cards, differential licences, and other measures that limited their  movement. Tensions have brought the use of lethal force at the security fences. The security fences have been replaced by the large security barriers that cut through Arab communities permanently separating families and in many cases extending the territories claimed by Israel. The security barriers separate farmers from their land and children from their schools.

The security barriers have been challenged in the International Court and has been declared illegal according to international law.

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