High Court orders continuation of Wall construction around West Bank settlement

The Israeli High Court of Justice approved Tuesday the continued construction of the annexation Wall around the settlement Shavei Shomron despite the petition against it. The wall isolates the residents from their orchards and disrupts their lives.

The petition was filed by two council heads and a mayor from Palestinian villages abutting Shavei Shomron.

The files petition revealed that the Wall construction would intrude on the lands of the residents, and would mean the the annexation of 53 Dunams of it.

It would also uproot 350 olive trees that serve the villagers as the main source of livelihood and would cut farmers off from their remaining farmlands.

According to Israeli sources, the court said that the “state will be committed for compensating the farmer harmed by the Wall, in spite that compensation was never considered for lands annexed for Wall construction.
 
Also, the court said that the farmers will have special gates in the Wall to cross into their fields.

Supreme Court panel was headed by Justice Aharon Barak, he said in the verdict that 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.”

His decision did not take into consideration the right of the Palestinian residents who lost their land for Wall or settlement construction, or are unable to reach whats left of their fields as a result of the annexation Wall.

The judges said that the army is trying to provide the settlement of Shavei Shomron with the “protection to prevent attacks against them”, and that if the Wall was built closer to the houses of the settlement “if would not  provide the necessary security against these threats”.

This decision means annexing more Palestinian lands to be used as a “security zone” between the Wall and the settlement from one side, and between the Wall and the Palestinian residents from the other.  

Judge Barak added in the verdict that “under the circumstances, the damage inflicted on the petitioners is in proportion to the security benefits the Wall will provide.

“The Wall’s aim is to protect the lives of the Israeli residents from attacks”, Barak stated, “The damage to the petitioners is neither great nor severe enough to outdo the benefits.”

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