Israel's security barrier is under construction and it is likely to be finished, so arguments about whether it should be built at all are pretty much academic. Far more important now is the nature and route of the barrier. Routes that go too deep into West Bank territory, that cut off and isolate Palestinian villages and encompass remote Israeli settlements are indeed likely to heighten the Palestinians' humiliation, harm them economically, and provoke worsened violence and terrorism. But other routes, closer to the `Green Line', could exert more positive influence, not least because they would logically entail the abandonment of unviable settlements. A sensibly routed barrier has the potential not only to help protect Israelis from terrorists, but also to make a broader strategic contribution as a mechanism for managing the conflict and as a back-up plan as the prospects for a formal agreement fade.
Jonathan Rynhold, 'Israel's Fence: Can Separation Make Better Neighbours?' Survival, Vol. 46, no 1, (2004), pp. 55-76