The Israeli army started on Tuesday evening to shift a section of the illegal Annexation Wall built on lands that belong to the residents of Bil’in village, west of the central West bank city of Ramallah.The act came in implementation of a ruling by the Israeli Supreme Court issued on September 4, 2007. The ruling states that the wall is illegal and illegitimate as it was built on lands privately owned by the villagers.
The army started removing segments of the wall in the western part of Bil’in; the Wall in that area is supposed to be fully dismantled by mid-July.
If the ruling is fully implemented, the villagers will regain 1200 Dunams out of 2300 Dunams illegally annexed by Israel for settlement and wall constructions. The total size of Bil’in is 4000 Dunams.
Rateb Abu Rahma, coordinator of the Popular Committee Against the Wall stated that dismantling sections of this illegal Wall comes as a result of persistent and ongoing popular nonviolent resistance carried out by the residents and their Israeli and international supporters.
Bil’in, a leading village in creative and popular nonviolent resistance against settlements and the Wall, started its activities six years ago and became the leading village in popular struggle in the occupied West Bank.
Its nonviolent resistance attracted the attention of the international community, yet was met by excessive use of force by the Israeli military leading to dozens of casualties and hundreds of arrests.
On July 9, 2004, the International Court at The Hague issued an advisory ruling stating that the Wall Israel is building in the occupied territories is illegal and must be dismantled. The court also ruled that the Palestinians, affected by the construction of this Wall, must be compensated. Israeli ignored the ruling.
On July 21, 2004, the UN General Assembly voted today to support the July 9 ruling by the International Court.
Israel claims the wall meant to protect it from attackers, especially suicide bombers, but facts on the ground show that the illegal Wall is built deep inside the occupied territories, separating Palestinian villages from their surroundings and even separating the villagers from their lands.
The Wall is also built far away from the Green Line that separates ‘Israel’ from the West Bank, and is designed to enable further construction and expansion of Jewish-only settlements in occupied Palestine.