West Bank barrier
Photo: AP

High Court rejects Palestinian village's petition against security fence

Justices say rerouting segment of West Bank barrier that separates village of Masha from Israeli communities will jeopardize security of local Jews

The High Court of Justice rejected on Sunday a petition filed by the Palestinian village of Masha and The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) against the construction of a segment of the West Bank security barrier near the village.


According to the ruling, the construction of the segment in question was completed seven years ago. The segment separates Masha, which is home to some 2,000 Palestinians, from the Jewish communities Elkana, Etz Efraim and Sha'arei Tikva.


The petition claimed that the fence's route is illegal as it is based not on security concerns, but rather on a political decision to expand Israeli communities situated near the West Bank barrier in order to create territorial continuity with other parts of the State of Israel.


The petitioners further maintained that a Palestinian home remains on the Israeli side of the barrier, causing the family to be disconnecting from the rest of the village. They said the barrier also separates Masha from some 5,500 dunams (about 1,359 acres) of land owned by the Palestinian residents of the village.


The petition was filed about three years after the security barrier was erected in the area. The State claimed that rerouting the barrier would entail huge costs, adding that the barrier's route is based on security and topographic concerns, and is meant to protect nearby Israeli communities.


The State said the Palestinian family residing on the Israeli side of the barrier has been given a key that allows them free passage through a gate that is monitored by security cameras.


In their ruling, High Court Justices Dorit Beinish, Eliezer Rivlin and Ayala Procaccia accepted the claim that the barrier hurts the Palestinian villagers, but said rerouting the barrier would jeopardize the security of the area's Jewish residents.


פרסום ראשון: 04.11.10, 22:35
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