Court approves Shavei Shomron fence
Judges reject petition filed by Palestinian villagers claiming the fence cuts them off from farmland, will necessitate uprooting 350 olives trees. Verdict: There are more benefits from fence than damages to petitioners; state agrees to compensate farmers for damages
The High Court of Justice approved Tuesday the continued construction of the separation fence around the settlement Shavei Shomron despite the petition against it claiming its construction would disrupt the lives of local Palestinians.
The petition was filed by two council heads and a mayor from Palestinian villages abutting Shavei Shomron. According to the petition,
The state committed to compensating farmers that would be harmed by the fence and agreed to set up gates in the fence through which farmers could access their fields.
Supreme Court President Aharon Barak, who headed the panel of judges in the case, said in the verdict: “After hearing the claims of both sides and after perusing the information presented, we decided that in the current circumstances, the balance the military commander reached (in designing the fence route) between security demands and Israeli and Palestinian residents' rights is reasonable.”
The judges said, “We accept the army commander’s viewpoint, which states that the special security zone and the protective area the army is establishing are necessary to provide Shavei Shomron residents with the protection needed to prevent terrorist infiltration or other terror activities. A fence built in closer proximity to the settlement’s houses would not provide the necessary security against these threats.”
Judge Barak added in the verdict that “under the circumstances, the damage inflicted on the petitioners is in proportion to the security benefits the fence will provide. The fence’s aim is to protect the lives of the Israeli residents from terrorism. The expected benefit is, therefore, very great. On the other hand, the damage to the petitioners is neither great nor severe enough to outdo the benefits.”
The panel of judges rejected the petition unanimously.