Israel Speeds Up West Bank Barrier Construction Following Court Injunction

Planned route for the West Bank separation fence surrounds village of Walajeh on three sides, separating it from large tracts of its land.

Nir Hasson
Nir Hasson
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Nir Hasson
Nir Hasson

The Defense Ministry picked up the pace of work on the separation fence near the Palestinian village of Walajeh, south of Jerusalem this week, village residents and the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel say.

Construction work on the security fence in the West Bank.Credit: Daniel Bar-On

The residents had petitioned the High Court of Justice, asking it to order the state to find an alternative route for the fence. The current route would surround the village on three sides and separate it from large tracts of its land.

The SPNI, which joined the petition as a "friend of the court," opposes the route, which it says would critically damage the area's unique terrace landscape.

During a court hearing Sunday, it came out that the order to expropriate village lands for the fence, which enabled the work to begin, had expired a year ago. The state's representative had no satisfactory explanation for this, so the court issued an injunction requiring the state to explain within 45 days why the work should not be stopped. However, the justices did not order the work stopped.

The Palestinians and the SPNI say that since the injunction was issued, the Defense Ministry and the contractors have been working much faster than before. Yesterday, for example, there were five bulldozers and other heavy equipment working on a half-kilometer stretch of the fence, and other heavy equipment working elsewhere around the village.

"Yesterday and today they've been working like crazy," said Ahmed Barghut, a resident of Walajeh whose house is near the work site.

The Defense Ministry says the construction is continuing at the same pace as before, and that the court rejected the petition to stop the work.

"An appeals committee found the route met the demand to limit damage to the fabric of Palestinian life and took nature and landscape into consideration," it said.



Automatic approval of subscriber comments.

NOW: 40% OFF
Already signed up? LOG IN


הקלטות מעוז

Jewish Law Above All: Recordings Reveal Far-right MK's Plan to Turn Israel Into Theocracy

איתמר בן גביר

Why I’m Turning My Back on My Jewish Identity

Travelers looking at the Departures board at Ben Gurion Airport. The number of olim who later become yordim is unknown.

Down and Out: Why These New Immigrants Ended Up Leaving Israel

Beatrice Grannò and Simona Tabasco as Mia and Lucia in "The White Lotus."

The Reality Behind ‘The White Lotus’ Sex Work Fantasy

The Mossad hit team in Dubai. Exposed by dozens of security cameras

This ‘Dystopian’ Cyber Firm Could Have Saved Mossad Assassins From Exposure

מליאת הכנסת 28.12.22

Comeback Kid: How Netanyahu Took Back Power After 18 Months in Exile