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Israel high court rejects petition against border barrier

[JURIST] The Supreme Court of Israel [official website] Thursday rejected an appeal by Palestinian villagers who claim that a 6-kilometer stretch of the border wall [Security Fence official website; JURIST news archive] currently being built will separate them from their crops. The court cited security concerns in its ruling, noting that the three Jewish settlements in the area, Emanuel, Maale Shomron and Karnei Shomrom, have experienced harsh terror attacks in the past. The court nonetheless held that the Israeli military must grant the Palestinians access to their crops; if this proves unsuccessful, the villagers may bring another appeal.

Shortly after construction of the 670-kilometer barrier began in the West Bank in 2002, the International Court of Justice [official website] held that it violated international law. In a non-binding advisory opinion [text], the court held that its construction violated UN Security Council [official website] resolutions and Israel's obligations under the Fourth Geneva Convention [ICRC document] to respect the territorial borders of the Palestinian territory, deeming the wall "tantamount to a de facto annexation". Aljazeera has more. Haaretz has local coverage.

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