Israeli High Court of Justice gave, on Sunday, the Israeli government the green light to construct the Separation Wall around settlements north of the West Bank, and barred the construction of illegal outposts around them
The court issued an interim injunction permitting the state to build the Wall around the Israeli illegal settlements of Avnei Hefetz and Einav in the West Bank, but did not allow the construction of the Wall around an illegal outpost and another temporary outpost installed close to those settlements.
Justices Aharon Barak, Dorit Beinisch and Ayala Procaccia issued the injunction in response to a petition submitted seven months ago by the council heads of the West Bank villages of Beit Lid, Ramin, Shufa and Al Labad near Nablus, against the separation Wall route planned near their villages.
The security need became more pressing, the prosecution claimed, as after the disengagement the settlements of Avnei Hefetz and Einav have become the northernmost Israeli settlements in the West Bank.
The prosecution argued that it could not proceed with the Wall construction around these settlements without causing damage to private Palestinian-owned lands.
The prosecution says the Wall should be built 400 meters from the houses, to create a "protective zone" that would reduce the danger to the settlers, as well as a "chase zone" in case of any infiltration through the separation Wall.
During the last several weeks, the Israeli government asked the court to exempt it from this commitment due "to the crucial security need to complete the work in the area".
The court’s decision addressed the argument on whether the separation Wall route was based on security considerations alone, or marks Israel’s future borders.
The Wall around Einav is 400 to 800 meters beyond its houses and is planned to surround a temporary military outpost north of the settlement.
The Wall around Avnei Hefetz is 400 to 1,500 meters away from the settlement’s houses in various places, and is also planned to surround an illegal outpost east of the settlement.
The justices prohibited the Israeli government from constructing the Wall east of Avnei Hefetz around the illegal outposts, prohibiting it also from constructing the Wall north of Einav around the temporary military outpost.