Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Breaking News

Israel Top Court Rules Against Wall Route

Israel’s highest court has urged defence officials to reroute a barrier planned for construction on ancient farmland at a West Bank Palestinian village.

Israeli judges have ordered changes in Israel’s barrier through occupied land before, but the latest decision followed a rare appeal involving support from an Israeli government environmental agency for a Palestinian challenge.

In their ruling on Thursday, judges wrote that only a 500-metre (yard) long section of the wall was under dispute at the village of Battir, known for its terraced agricultural fields, some of which are believed go back to biblical times.

“In light of the unique charcter of the region in question, it would be worthy for security officials to do some more thinking especially about what type of divider and security arrangements to employ in the problematic section,” the justices wrote.

The court gave the Defence Ministry a 90-day deadline to respond. Appellants in the case will have 15 days after that to react.

Battir is inside territory Israel captured in a 1967 war that Palestinians seek for a state. Palestinian villagers say the barrier would irreversibly disrupt agriculture in their community.

Israel began constructing a barrier on West Bank land about a decade ago citing security concerns. The project was launched at the height of a Palestinian uprising and billed as a way to stop suicide bombers from penetrating the country.

Shaul Goldstein, director of the Israeli Nature and Parks Authority that backed the petition, said on Wednesday his group did “not object to putting up obstacles to stop terrorists, it’s just that we believe here that other methods can be used”.

The International Court of Justice ruled in 2004 that the Israeli barrier, made largely of razor-wire fencing and partly of cement walls, was illegal. Israel disputes this.

Israeli army colonel Ofer Hindi, representing the state in the Battir case, argued for the security benefits of the planned section by saying that two villagers were jailed in 2008 for planning to bomb a railway that runs by Battir.

Engage

  • SHARE YOUR FEEDBACK

  • UPCOMING EVENT

    SKY & SCULPTURE

    Hybrid: Online and at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan

    Oct 2, 2022

    6:30 pm ET · 

    A Sukkah, IMKHA, created by artist Tobi Kahn, for the Marlene Meyerson JCC of Manhattan is an installation consisting of 13 interrelated sculpted painted wooden panels, constituting a single work of art. Join for a panel discussion with Rabbi Joanna Samuels, Chief Executive Director of the Marlene Meyerson JCC of Manhattan, Talya Zax, Innovation Editor of the Forward, and Tobi Kahn, Artist. Moderated by Mattie Kahn.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.