IDF: We'll soon complete move of Bil'in security barrier

Army expects weekly protests to continue despite compliance with court order returning village lands; barrier will approach Modi'in Illit.

Bil'in demonstration 311 (R) (photo credit: Reuters)
Bil'in demonstration 311 (R)
(photo credit: Reuters)
The army will finish work to change the route of the West Bank security barrier near Bil’in within two months, in line with a 2007 High Court ruling, the IDF announced on Wednesday.
Nevertheless, the IDF Central Command “expects that weekly demonstrations in the Palestinian villages of Bil’in and Ni’lin will continue,” the IDF Spokesman’s Office said.
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“We do not expect that this will influence the demonstrations,” Lt.-Col. Shahar Sheetrit, of the Central Command, said.
“There is all kinds of speculation about what will happen in the future.”
The new route will be built about 400 meters from the Modi’in Illit settlement.
“Residents of that community have expressed some reservations to the IDF about the move of the barrier,” the Spokesman’s Office said. “Stone tiles will be placed on the western side of the new barrier so that it will look more aesthetic for residents.”
The Central Command said that features of the new barrier will incorporate lessons learned about how to protect communities from terrorists. Among other things, gates will be included in the barrier, which will allow soldiers to act quicker when attackers try to infiltrate Modi’in Illit.
In 2007, the High Court of Justice ruled that a 1,700-meter-long part of the security barrier must be dismantled and that an alternative section be built elsewhere.
The court said the original route was designed to allow for the growth of Modi’in Illit, and was not guided by security considerations.
The original route was topographically inferior, endangering forces patrolling the area, the court said, according to the IDF Spokesman’s Office.