Supreme Court rules that route of security fence won’t be altered

Walajeh has been the site of violent protests; ruling cites the security benefits of fence

Date: 28/08/2011, 11:10 AM     Author: Florit Shoihet

The Israeli Supreme Court recently ruled that the route of the portion of the security fence under construction in the village of Walajeh will not be altered.

Residents of Walajeh have held nearly weekly protests against the route of security fence and the Etzion Regional Brigade anticipates that these demonstrations will continue.

Walajeh is located south of Jerusalem. Part of Walajeh is under the jurisdiction of the Jerusalem municipality while the other part is under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority. The fence is to be constructed on the line between the two jurisdictions.

The ruling cited the security benefits of the fence.

“The harm caused to the petitioners by the route of the fence is in fair proportion to the security benefits produced by the route of the fence,” the ruling said.

Protests in Walajeh have sometimes turned violent. Engineering forces working on the fence have been attacked. Molotov cocktails and rocks have been thrown at IDF (Zahal) and Border Police forces in the area.

The Supreme Court ruling did find that fence harms the agricultural activities of Walajeh residents but that the scope of the harm was less than claimed by the petitioners.

During discussions at the Supreme Court, military officials clarified that agricultural gates are open for farmers for several hours three times a day and that the access of farmers to their lands will remain high.

Likewise, the flow of natural spring water in the area won’t stop or be harmed by the construction of the security fence.

The IDF (Zahal) emphasizes the importance of the construction of the security fence, which prevents terrorists and illegal trespassers from entering Israel.

Recently, there has been an increase in security warnings in Jerusalem and the surrounding area.