Court rejects Tene fence petition

Jewish settlement of 500 doesn't want to be on 'Palestinian' side of fence.

A Jewish settlement of 500 inhabitants will be left on the "Palestinian" side of the separation barrier after the High Court of Justice on Wednesday rejected its petition to change the route to include it on the "Israeli" side. The petition was submitted by the local authority of Tene, located some three kilometers north of the Green Line. "We were convinced that the military commander's decisions were made after considering all of the relevant factors and that he acted in accordance with the principles set down by this court in its guideline rulings on the separation barrier," wrote Barak. "Indeed, it is apparent that in the context of determining the route of the security barrier in this area, the government made an effort to minimize the injury caused to Palestinians and Israelis alike. An effort was made to balance between the conflicting rights and interests of each." In its petition, the Tene local authority argued that being left on the Palestinian side of the barrier constituted severe and disproportional injury to their security and living patterns. They pointed out the special danger to settlers traveling along the approach road to the settlement, where there had already been four shootings in the years between 2003 and 2005. They also argued that they received most of their services in Bersheba or other Israeli locations, and would have to undergo security checks all the time when they crossed the barrier. In its response, the state declared that the army could satisfactorily defend Tene even if the barrier passed south of it. Tene was designated a special security area and had its own security fence and other measures to prevent terrorist infiltrations. The army would also defend the access road with two watchtowers and fences to prevent stone throwing and other attempts from up close to attack the cars traveling on the road.