A special nine-judge High Court panel, headed by former Chief Justice Aharon Barak, ruled Sunday morning that the route of the West Bank security fence in
the Bir Naballah area north of Jerusalem is legal, thus rejecting five petitions filed on the matter.
The decision to build a segment of the fence around Jerusalem was aimed at preventing the infiltration of terrorists into the capital; it was further decided that the first section would separate Givat Zeev and Ramallah, while the second would come between Jerusalem and Ramallah.
However, the proposed route aroused objection due to the fact that it would leave five Bir Naballah area villages outside the Israeli side of the fence, thus excluding some 1,500 Palestinians, many of them carriers of Israeli identification cards.
Hadash Chairman MK Mohammad Barakeh responded Sunday to the High Court’s ruling that the security fence route in Jerusalem was legal and said, “The decision made by an expanded panel was intended to give a legal umbrella to a racist fence which was dismissed at the international court in The Hague.”
“There is no legitimate law for occupations, so there cannot be legitimacy in the ruling either,” he concluded.
Outgoing High Court President Aharon Barak wrote: "The Military Commander has to weight conflicting options. Maximal defense of security is meant to be bound to immeasurable harm to Palestinian residents, and abstention from harming Palestinian residents is meant to greatly threaten security. The solution to this conflict is not a matter of all or nothing. The solution is in finding a balance between the conflicting interests."
Having weighed the advantages and disadvantages of the current route, Barak wrote: "We accept the State's position that there is a need to build a separation wall to advance the security objectives of protecting Jerusalem, nearby communities and roads leading to it, from terror activities."
Barak accepted the State's argument that efforts were made to limit harm to Bir Naballah. "Damage caused by using real estate which is caused by the fence's route, abides to the condition of proportionality as its larger sections are built near and along motorways, and is not bound by expropriating private lands."