Israel’s government said Friday that it has plans to move forward with proposals to double the security fence along a key border after the Trump administration said it had no plans to upsize the American embassy.
When Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the embassy last week, he was given a tour of the space that held the previous one, an annex at the Western Wall.
“The Trump administration left space,” National Security Adviser John Bolton said at a security conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. “That will fill up and continue to fill up. We plan to return to Jerusalem.”
So a key security zone along the Israeli-Gaza border will double in size and a step further in shaping it as a barrier to Palestinian worshipers seeking to visit, Palestinian officials in Gaza said. It will leave a much larger strip of land under Israel’s jurisdiction.
A key concern for Israel is that a substantial number of Palestinian worshipers trying to pass through the new barrier, already built near the Gaza border, will join groups seeking to reach the Old City. To slow down the flow, Israeli forces could decide to restrict access.
The Gaza Strip borders Israel, Jordan and Egypt, and its population is divided into two separate populations: those who live within Israel’s pre-1967 borders and those who live outside it.