Israel’s Supreme Court on Monday ordered the Israeli state to justify the route of the separation wall in Beit Jala’s Cremisan valley in an apparent indication that the proposed land seizure could be canceled.
Ma’an News reports that fifty-eight landowners, together with the Salesian convent and monastery, have battled for eight years against a 2006 Israeli military order to build the separation wall around Beit Jala and the illegal Gilo settlement.

On Monday, Israel’s Supreme Court issued a preliminary order giving the Israeli state until April 10 to justify why it could not alter the proposed route of the wall, which as planned would split the Salesian community, annex the Cremisan valley to Israel and seize land from local Beit Jala residents.

The court ordered that all construction on the separation wall be halted until the Israeli state responds to the request.

According to the Palestinian News Network (PNN), the court asked for a statement regarding reasons why it shouldn’t cancel the verdict from last year, which was given by the Israeli Special Appeals Committee concerning land seizure under emergency law. That verdict describes the decisions made to construct a route which cuts off the valley from Beit Jala and separates the Salesian Convent from the Salesian Monastery. According to this statement, the wall would be constructed on the route suggested by the Council of Peace and Security.

Until the State responds, all work must be stopped.