Israeli security devices including the General Security Service (The Shabak) recommended keeping some neighborhoods of Jerusalem on the other side of the wall.
The original plan, approved by the Israeli government, is to build the wall around Jerusalem and regard it as the municipal borders of the city and annex it to Israel.
According to this plan, land around Jerusalem on which around 190 thousand Palestinians live, will be annexed to Israel, which will divide some neighborhoods of Jerusalem where which parts of them will be inside the wall.
This means that the wall will isolate some of those residents from their relatives. Israeli security sources reportedly said, Israeli security officials believe this will lower the chances for Palestinian resistance to recruit Palestinians from Jerusalem to carry out attacks inside Israel.
This plan contradicts with the Israeli High Court of Justice which ruled out 30 out of 40 Kilometers stretch of the separation wall around Jerusalem on June 30.
This landmark ruling by Chief Justice Aharon Barak and Justices Eliahu Mazza and Mishael Cheshin comes in response to a petition filed in the High Court of Justice by the village council of Beit Surik, north west of Jerusalem.
The court’s ruling was an attempt to balance between the military measures Israel is taking by building the wall and the obligation Israel has to provide for the local inhabitance of the area.
‘The route disrupts the delicate balance between the obligation of the military commander to preserve security and his obligation to provide for the needs of the local inhabitants,’ the ruling said.
The court pointed that the current route of the wall forms a violations of both humanitarian and international laws, by creating hardships for the local population and recommended in principle to adjust the route of the wall in that area especially that alternative routes do exist.
‘The route that the military commander established for the security fence… harms the local inhabitants in a severe and acute way while violating their rights under humanitarian and international law,’ the court said.
‘This route has created such hardship for the local population that the state must find an alternative that may give less security but would harm the local population less. These alternative routes do exist’ the court added.
The court, which does not have a mandate to ban the construction of the fence itself, froze construction of the barrier in the disputed area in March, pending a final decision.
Mohammad Dahla, the lawyer for the petitioners said ‘This is a courageous and very important decision. Of course it is precedent-setting,’
‘This decision is more important than the one at The Hague because this one will be followed. It says what we said from the beginning, that the building of the wall as it is being built is illegal and that there is another way to build it that will give security to Israel but won’t violate Palestinian rights,’ he said.
However, an Israeli security official condemned the ruling Wednesday, saying that the verdict would ’cause irreversible damage.’
Uri Avnery, a member of Gush Shalom peace bloc, former Member of Knesset, who was at the court Wednesday, lauded the ruling.
‘The High Court has made a very important decision, putting a stop to the callousness of a blind and obtuse government and military that thinks it can, with complete disregard, send bulldozers to destroy the lives of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians,’ said the former Avnery.
The Israel Defense Forces has said it would set up four gates in this section of the barrier to allow landowners access to their farms but Palestinians in other areas have said the permit process is often too restrictive.
Other gates in different sections of the wall along the West Bank were not opened as the army claims. ‘These gates are used to humiliate us and force us to leave our land’ Said a farmer from Jayyous village near Qalqilia.
This section of the barrier in the northeastern Jerusalem area would disrupt the lives of 45,000 people living in ten villages, cutting them off from their farmland, schools and jobs, Dahla said ahead of the ruling.