Israel’s military began rerouting the security fence bordering the West Bank village of Bil’in.
The tearing down and rebuilding of the fence, in compliance with a 2007 Israeli Supreme Court ruling, began on Sunday. The entire project will cost about $7.5 million. Another $1.5 million will go to help make the land that is made available by moving the fence suitable for use by Palestinian farmers. Prior to tearing down the fence, Israeli soldiers relocated dozens of Palestinian olive trees, according to the Israel Defense Forces.
Moving the fence will give the residents of Bil’in access to about 140 more acres of farmland. They will still remain separated from about 50 more acres of land.
Bil’in has been the site of regular Friday protests, which often turn violent. On June 24, Palestinian protestors smashed into the fence with a bulldozer, despite the fact that the work was scheduled to begin on Sunday.
Leaders of the protests said they will continue despite the move.