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Israel High Court orders state to reconstruct part of West Bank barrier

[JURIST] Israel's High Court of Justice [Judicial Authority website], the Supreme Court of Israel sitting as a court of first instance in cases regarding state actions, on Thursday ordered the state to take down a five-kilometer section of the West Bank security barrier [official website; JURIST news archive] that separates Israelis from Palestinians. The Court found that the barrier section which surrounds the illegal Israeli settlement of Tzofit was motivated by political rather than security concerns because its primary purpose is to enlarge the area claimed by the settlers.

The High Court petition was brought on appeal by Palestinian village leaders who live near the wall. To offset security risks, the Court gave the state time to build a new wall that does not intrude on Palestinian territory before tearing down the offending section. The security fence, derided by Palestinians as an "apartheid wall" has been an object of much contention. In 2004 the International Court of Justice issued a non-binding advisory opinion [ICJ materials] at the behest of the UN General Assembly [PDF request; JURIST report] recommending that it not be built after the UN General Assembly requested an ICJ hearing on the issue. Aljazeera has more. The Jerusalem Post has local coverage.

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