Opposition leader Isaac Herzog continued to pursue his separation agenda on Tuesday as he urged the government to fortify the Jewish presence in Yehuda and Shomron by completing the security barrier, The Jerusalem Post reported.
Speaking in the city of Ariel in the Shomron, Herzog said, “The residents of Ariel deserve the same protection as the residents of Tel Aviv.”
Placing the barrier “around Ariel is not a luxury. It is a security necessity that the state owes its citizens. It is unacceptable for the barrier around the settlement blocs to be only partially constructed,” Herzog said.
Ariel is the fourth largest Jewish city in Yehuda and Shomron with 18,400 people, and is home to the University of Ariel. A 2006 cabinet vote called for the barrier to be constructed around that bloc as well as the Gush Etzion and Ma’aleh Adumim blocs.
However, only 60 percent of the 490-mile route has been completed so far, according to the latest data. Little progress has been seen in the construction since 2007.
Herzog explained that it was not only a matter of providing safety for the local residents, but of furthering a physical separation from the Palestinians as a step toward an eventual two-state solution.
“We have to defend the blocs with a contiguous separation barrier that will prevent terrorist infiltrations on one hand and allow construction on the other side of the barrier on the other hand,” Herzog said.
It would, he said, encourage the Palestinians outside the barrier to take charge of their own lives.