Security barrier 224.88.
(photo credit: AP [file])
More than six years after the construction of the security barrier began, nearly one-third of the fence in the Jerusalem area has not been completed, according to the chief government watchdog.
The construction delays stem primarily from budgetary and legal constraints, a recent report by State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss found.
About 50 km. of the 164.5-km. fence in the Jerusalem area remained unfinished as of August 2008, the annual report found.
Budgetary problems are the reason for the vast majority of the unfinished work, with only 4.5 km. held up by ongoing legal appeals, the report said.
In addition, only 10 of the 13 planned security crossings have been completed to date.
In all, NIS 3.8 billion was allocated toward the Jerusalem section of the fence. As of a year ago, nearly NIS 3b. - almost 80 percent - had been used.
Security officials have credited the nationwide construction of the barrier with the near-halt in suicide bombings in major Israeli cities over the last several years.
However, they caution that with many gaps in the barrier - especially in the Jerusalem area - the city remains vulnerable both to attacks and to Palestinian terrorists sneaking explosives into the country from the West Bank via the capital.