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Pardes Yehuda: Israel to dismantle and move part of the separation barrier

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Israel to dismantle and move part of the separation barrier

Five years ago the Israeli Supreme Court ruled that it was illegal for the Jewish State to build its separation barrier on Palestinian land. Now, Ha'aretz reports that in at least the village of Qalqilyah (the village's portion of the wall can be seen, to left, being defaced by village residents), 2.4 kilometers of the barrier will be removed, and 2,600 dunams of agricultural land will be returned to their Palestinian owners.

The new route will follow the actual border between the West Bank and Israel, as opposed to encroaching onto large amounts of non-Israeli land.

Many had accused the army of using the barrier to meet the needs of the settler's movement and enact a land grab. In repeated rulings, the highest court in Israel demanded the barrier in this area be moved to reflect the border and the security needs, not the desire of a minority.

The new Israel Defense Force Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi has called on the government to determine the route of the fence and any future border with an independent Palestine, and not the armed forces.

This decision, albeit five years too late, is one positive step towards reclaiming Israeli democracy.

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