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Lod checkpoint
Photo: Tomrico
Court: Lod fence plans cause 'ghetto' effect
Plans shelved for fence between Lod Arab neighborhoods and Nir Zvi community that aimed to protect from crime; Court cites 'ghettoization' effect
The Administrative Court ordered the cancellation of plans to build a separation fence between the community of Nir Zvi and the Arab neighborhood Pardes Snir in Lod on Tuesday. The decision came after a judge ruled that matters of equal rights, along with other human rights, were tied up in the plan for the fence construction.

 

The administrative petition was submitted following a decision to approve a plan to construct a wall between the two neighborhoods with

the aim to defend residents of the Nir Zvi community from crime which was emanating from the neighboring area. The non-profit organization Bamakom (in the place), which deals with planning rights, and the judicial clinic of Tel Aviv University opposed the planned, saying it was "part of a wider phenomenon of pushing Arab residents into ghettos surrounded by walls and fences."

 

The petition was submitted by lawyer Hisam Savita from the Clinic for Human Rights in the Faculty of Law at the University of Tel Aviv, based on the expert opinion of Bamakom.

 

'Ghettoization effect'

 

The petitioners claimed that the wall had cultural and psychological implications, including "the ghettoization effect," which could make worse feelings of isolation and personal and collective rejection among residents of the neighborhood, and transmit the message that residents of the neighborhood are unwanted citizens.

 

In the ruling, Judge Sara Gadot said that planning authorities, especially the National Council for Planning and Construction, were obligated to address social aspects in their planning, and to claims by the petitioners over discrimination, racism, deprivation, and exclusion on the basis of national ethnic origin, as clear planning pleas.

 

The judge added: "Petitioners’ complaints that the wall creates a ‘ghettoization’ effect of the Arab neighborhood need to be taken into consideration. If residents feel the wall causes a ghetto atmosphere, this should be a planning consideration no different from the claim of blocking of light, air, and others."

 

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