Separation barrier

Separation barriers (separation walls, security fences) are constructed to prevent the movement of people across the barrier or to separate two populations. These structures vary in placement with regard to political boundaries, international borders, and topography. The most famous example is the Great Wall of China, a series of barriers separating the Empire of China from Mongolia and Manchuria; the most prominent recent example was the Berlin wall that separated the eastern (GDR) and western (FRG) parts (now united) of Berlin.


Current barriers

People's Republic of China (Hong Kong and Macao)

Hong Kong and Macau maintain controlled borders with the People's Republic of China even after the return of sovereignty in 1997 and 1999 respectively. Under the operating principle of "One country, two systems", the two Special Administrative Regions maintain independent customs and immigration policies. Both territories border the province of Guangdong.

  • Hong Kong has a border stretching thirty-two kilometres with Mainland China (Shenzhen Special Economic Zone) that features fences, thermal image sensors, lights and closed-circuit television. The border is also patrolled regularly by police. Just south of Shenzhen River (the geographical delimitation of the border) is a strip of rural area with restricted access. Currently, the three road border crossings are located at Sha Tau Kok, Man Kam To, and Lok Ma Chau, and a railway and traveller crossing at Lo Wu.
  • Macau has been maintaining a controlled 340-metre border with mainland China with crossing available at Border Gate. The border crossing is equiped with fifty-four counters for travelers and eight for vehicular traffic. Opened in 1999, the Lotus Bridge in Macau supplemented what has been the only border crossing into mainland China through Border Gate. Both border crossings allow access into neighbouring municipality of Zhuhai.


The European Union and Spain have constructed barriers between the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla and Morocco to prevent smuggling and illegal immigration.

A neutral territory exists between Gibraltar and Spain. A strip of land of width "600 toises, being more than two cannon shots distance between the British guns and the Spanish guns" would be considered "the neutral ground" stipulated by the Treaty of Seville in 1729. In 1908 the British constructed a fence at the British side of the neutral territory. In order not to offend the Spanish, the fence was actually one metre inside British territory. Even though both the United Kingdom and Spain are part of the European Union, the border fence is still relevant today since Gibraltar maintains its tax haven status. The border crossing is open twenty-four hours a day to facilitate customs collection by Spain.


India is completing a separation barrier between Indian and Pakistani controlled areas of Kashmir to prevent infiltration by Pakistani based militants.


Israel maintains two separation barriers between Israeli and Palestinian population centers to prevent infiltration by suicide bombers.


South Korea has constructed a separation barrier between its territory and North Korea to obstruct any southward movement by the army of North Korea. The border features:


Morocco has constructed a separation barrier in Western Sahara and Morocco to keep the guerrilla fighters of Polisario out of Morocco and the economically interesting two-thirds of the Western Sahara.

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has begun construction of a separation barrier or fence between its territory and Yemen to prevent the unauthorized movement of people into and out of the Kingdom.


Thailand plans to build a concrete fence along parts of its border with Malaysia to keep Muslim terrorists and dual citizens from crossing Thailand's southern border with Malaysia.


Turkey has constructed a separation barrier between the Turkish controlled northern one-third and independent southern two-thirds of Cyprus to separate Turkish and Greek Cypriot populations.

United Kingdom

The United Kingdom has constructed separation barriers between Protestant and Catholic neighbourhoods in Belfast, Derry, and elsewhere in Northern Ireland to contain violence between the two groups.

United Nations

The United Nations has constructed a demilitarized zone to stop Iraq from re-invading Kuwait; Kuwait plans to install a new separation barrier as well.

United States

The United States has constructed a separation barrier along 130 kilometres of its border with Mexico to prevent unauthorized immigration into the United States.

Historical barriers

See also

External links

he:מחסום הפרדה


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