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Court rejects Palestinian bid on Jerusalem barrier
Published Tuesday 23/08/2011 (updated) 25/08/2011 14:22
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Israeli soldiers stand next to a Palestinian woman protesting against Israel's
controversial separation barrier in the West Bank village of Al-Walaja, near
the biblical town of Bethlehem. [AFP/File Musa al-Shaer]
JERUSALEM (AFP) -- An Israeli rights group criticized Tuesday a court decision upholding the route of Israel's West Bank barrier, which cuts off a Palestinian village from its land in an area between Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

Residents of Al-Walaja had appealed to Israel's Supreme Court to reroute a portion of the barrier which they say cuts off the village of 2,500 from farming land, a cemetery and a nearby spring.

The village straddles the border between East Jerusalem and the West Bank, with a third of its land falling within the Israeli-annexed sector.

But Israel's Supreme Court rejected the petition Monday, saying security concerns outweighed the disturbance to their lives.

Ir Amim, an NGO which lobbies for Palestinians and Israelis to share Jerusalem, said the villagers had been placed in an impossible situation by Israel.

"The court verdict does not address the question of Walaja because Israel is condemned to rule Walaja unwisely and unfairly," said Daniel Seidemann, a founder of Ir Amim.

"We have no business ruling it in the first place," he said. "We do not provide them services, do not allow them access to the West Bank, do not allow them access to Israel."

Chief Justice Dorit Beinish wrote in her decision the barrier in Walaja was "one of the last sections" around Jerusalem that still needed completion.

"The geographical proximity between these territories and the Jerusalem municipal area has over the years transformed it into a preferred target destination for terrorists operating in the area who wish to infiltrate the city limits," she wrote.

Moving the barrier could also pose a potential threat to passengers on the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem railway, which runs nearby, she said.

Palestinian lawyer Farid Al-Atrash, director of the Independent Commission for Human Rights in the West Bank, told Ma’an the court was biased toward Israel and unfair to Palestinians.

"Israeli measures in building the wall are contrary to the decision of the International Court in the Hague, which confirmed the illegitimacy of the wall on the Palestinian lands which were occupied in 1967," he said.

Al-Atrash added that “we reject this decision as it is arbitrary, we should resist it.”

Israel says the barrier is designed to prevent attacks, but the Palestinians view it as an "apartheid wall" that carves off key parts of their promised state.

When the 709-kilometer barrier is complete, 85 percent of it will have been built inside the occupied West Bank.

In a non-binding 2004 judgment, the International Court of Justice called for the dismantling of all parts of the separation barrier built on occupied territory.

Ma'an staff in Bethlehem contributed reporting.
1 ) Carlos / USA
23/08/2011 17:39
Israel is so ridiculous. I am glad Israel is not our neighbor. The US would understand what it means to have a psychopath so near! All sympathy for Israeli propoganda would melt once US experienced Israel lunacy.

2 ) Omar / USA
23/08/2011 18:02
why would you go to a Jew court to ask for fairness? This Jew Court is an arm of Zionism and you should not expect anything from them. If the U.S. wasnt controled by Zionists than they would be prime candidates for prosecution at the Hague. After all they are criminals!

3 ) Mel / USA
23/08/2011 18:45
Fear not Palestine! Remember the Berlin Wall? The Warsaw Ghetto?The apartheid system in pro-Zionist South Africa?
ALL GONE! Israel's illegal,monsterous,apartheid wall,will be torn down TOO! Each Palestinian can write their name on one panel,to reserve it,to hang flower vines on,in the New State of Palestine? Or,move them to the new Palestinian International Airport in Gaza,& paste 'Welcome to Our Palestine' signs on? "PalAir Flight 242,arriving from London,at Gateway 'Tahrir' ".Oh Yes!

4 ) zzzzzzzzzzz / usa
23/08/2011 20:14

5 ) Ali / Amman
23/08/2011 20:44
The world is on to you, Israel.

6 ) Colin Wright / USA
23/08/2011 21:29
Carlos #1 'All sympathy for Israeli propoganda would melt once US experienced Israel lunacy.' This is why films about Palestinians get blocked from mainstream distribution, and why supporters of Israel get upset about anything that lets people see Palestinians as human beings. Even the Egyptian uprising had an impact. At least Americans saw that Arabs in general -- if not Palestinians -- were people. The oppression can only continue so long as 'Palestinians' remain an abstraction.

7 ) Robert Haymond / Israel/Canada
23/08/2011 22:41
Our security to live without terrorism perpetrated by our Islamic neighbours comes before an equitable division of land. That's it in a nutshell. When Israel is assured of its safety then Palestinian Arabs will also possess more comfort. Not until then. Never again, Israel's watchword!

8 ) Amin / The Netherlands
23/08/2011 22:51
Wat do you expect of Israeli zionist courts ?

Under the cover of "safety reasons" Israeli state and her courts , supress Palestinians, rob them from their land and living. "Safety reasons" is a way to "legalize" further Judaizing / colonize Palestine. Wake up world !

9 ) George / USA
23/08/2011 23:38
@Mel/USA; I just want to add "Barleve Wall" that was knocked down by Hero Egyptian Army in October 6, 1973.

10 ) Joe Fattal / USA
24/08/2011 01:50
A consolation for the Palestinians. Its been done before in Berlin, but it was also taken down by the Russians. So, let them have it for awhile. Things like that don't last for ever. Israel think they are invincible, but they are not, not anymore anyhow. They are surrounded with a more sophisticated miitary force than before.

11 ) Born in the / USA
24/08/2011 04:30
I wish Israel were our neighbor instead of Mexico. A fence is exactly what we need to keep illegal immigrants from Mexico out of our country. 90% of Texas want this and so we hear about the fence in Israel and think - they know what they are doing. The more the US sees the fence, the more respect we have for Israel, the country we have to emulate. WE LOVE ISRAEL IN TEXAS !!! Remember the Great Wall of China. Still here.

12 ) Malone / Hfx
24/08/2011 04:40
#3 delusional Mel,lol...
1st of all who's going to buy them the plane?Who's going to buy them an airport?
How many suicide bombers does it take to fly palair flight 242?

13 ) Alex / US
24/08/2011 06:36
Carlos, Omar, Mel, Amin, Joe Fattal (?)...what a bunch of losers! Notice that none of them lives in Gaza or West Bank. They are probably Palestinian kids going to grad school in US or just plain Jew-haters.

14 ) Jerrold Cohen / USA
24/08/2011 06:40
Robert Haymond, you live in a delusional dream. Every time Palestine leans toward leniency for Israel, Israel takes advantage of it by stealing more Palestinian land.

15 ) Omar / USA
24/08/2011 07:14
Robert, Israel was created with violence, murder, rape and the burning of entire villages. Israel STOLE from an innocent people their lives. Israel will never be assured of anything. Israel can go to hell and meet their maker. the jews should be fearful because their dictator protectors are on the run and the FREE people of the Middle East will not put up with Israel's murderous attitude. Malone, we will walk if we have to.

16 ) @ #3 and #11 / USA
24/08/2011 16:59
Remember the Paraohs, Philistines, Assyrians, Arameans, Moabites, Amorites, Hittites, Babylonians, and Romans?

"Born" is right about both neighbors and fences:
- Israel would love living along-side a neighbor like the USA,
that loves freedom and fights terrorists,
- Even the USA's worst neighbor is far better than Israel's best, and
- In the USA we have a fitting expression,
"Strong Fences Make Good Neighbors" !!!

17 ) Mel / USA
24/08/2011 18:48
#11 BitU,You forget dude that the US govt want the Latino people in,to do the US slave labor,at attrition wages? Not to mention the drug/weps trafficking that the US profits from? At least the US covertly employs refugees from the 'Free'market old colonies.Israel won't even employ native Palestinians any more? &12 Malone,I remember who the first terrorists were in Palestine post WW2. European Zionists/King David Hotel/Arab villages purged by Irgun/Stern fire-bombs. Cause-Effect! Ripples!

18 ) southparkbear / usa
24/08/2011 23:44
I am not clear on one thing. has anyone sued for legal expenses
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