West Bank security fence barrier wall settlement 311 (R).
(photo credit: Reuters)
Construction of a 40-kilometer stretch of the West Bank security barrier near
Gush Etzion has halted due to budgetary considerations, according to an internal
Defense Ministry document obtained by Army Radio on Wednesday.
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mentioned in the document are legal challenges in the High Court of Justice that
the ministry faces in completing the barrier. The petitions to the court say the
barrier’s route requires the expropriation of privately owned Palestinian land,
according to the report.
The defense minister’s spokesman responded to
the report by saying that the “fence building project continues and will be
He added, “Various types of changes are [being] made to the
project, some due to planning problems, some due to budgetary problems and some
due to legal problems.”
According to the document, construction on the
barrier in the area in question will continue in 2012, Army Radio
While MK Danny Danon (Likud) called for the Knesset Defense and
Foreign Affairs Committee to immediately discuss why construction was frozen,
other lawmakers praised the freeze and called continued construction “a waste of
Among those critical of continued construction were MKs Michael
Ben-Ari (National Union) and David Rotem (Israel Beiteinu), who said building
the barrier is a way of escaping the responsibility to truly deal with
Criticizing the decision to freeze construction,
(res.) Uzi Dayan, who was named this month to head the Mifal
Hapayis national lottery, warned that the freeze could lead to more
From the Left, the criticism focused on whether, if such
delays were considered acceptable by the security establishment, the barrier was
needed, and asking why the fence was not being built on the Green Line.