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Israel orders full review of security barrier after high court ruling

[JURIST] The Israeli government said Monday that it will review the path of the West Bank security barrier [official website; JURIST news archive] after the High Court of Justice [Judicial Authority website] last week ordered the state to take down a five-kilometer section of the barrier [JURIST report]. The court ordered that the section surrounding the illegal Israeli settlement of Tzofit be dismantled because the route was motivated by political reasons. The Court added that only security concerns should determine the route of the barrier, not efforts to expand settlements.

Palestinian village leaders brought the High Court petition, and opponents of the barrier's route believe that the government's loss may be a signal that the state will lose 10 to 15 other pending appeals. However, the High Court on Sunday rejected two other petitions [Jerusalem Post report] filed by Palestinians opposing the barrier, as well as a request for a temporary injunction on construction of the inner barrier located in the south Hebron hills. 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. The Globe and Mail has more.

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