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Israel PM order to close security fence gaps around Jerusalem prompts legal wrangle

[JURIST] [JURIST Europe] Israeli activist group Peace Now [advocacy website] has condemned Wednesday's directive from Israeli Prime Minister-elect Ehud Omert [BBC profile] to top security officials to block the gaps [official press release] in the controversial security fence [JURIST report; IDF official website] around Jerusalem. Peace Now director Yariv Oppenheimer says that the action was taken before appropriate permission from Israel's High Court [official website] was obtained. Olmert made the order ten days after a suicide bombing in Tel Aviv that killed nine people. The security fence has been considered least protective in the Jerusalem area, and the suicide bomber who staged the latest attack is believed to have entered through one of the gaps there. Olmert ordered temporary fences to be put up until the permanent security fence is fully established. The Jerusalem Post has more.

The building of about a quarter of the fence around Jerusalem has been postponed due to legal disputes [JURIST report] since the fence places most of the city under Israeli control. Recently the High Court upheld the legal legitimacy [JURIST report] of the fence route around Jerusalem. The Palestinian Authority, which hopes to have East Jerusalem as the capital of its future state, has objected to having the fence go through the West Bank. The New York Times has more.

Tatyana Margolin is an Associate Editor for JURIST Europe, reporting European legal news from a European perspective. She is based in the UK.

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