Gilboa head demands fence be finished

Regional council leader petitions HCJ for explanation of the delay.

security fence 298 88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
security fence 298 88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Head of Gilboa Regional Council Danny Atar petitioned the High Court of Justice on Wednesday for the government to hasten the construction of the security fence in that area. Atar, a Knesset candidate for the Labor Party, insisted the government explain why, in the four years since the construction of the fence began, only one third of the barrier had been built. Atar accused the state of neglecting its citizens, Israel Radio reported. "This is endangerment of human lives along hundreds of kilometers. Any terrorist could enter into the heart of the Israeli population and perform mass murder," he warned. The Gilboa Regional Council head expressed hope that the state would heed the HCJ after, according to him, it had disregarded the state comptroller's reports on the matter. In 2002, following a series of especially brutal suicide bombings, the government decided to build a security fence between the Israeli and Arab populations, in order to prevent would-be terrorists from crossing into Israel. Over the past four years, the High Court of Justice has deliberated over some of the more controversial segments of the fence. In a few instances, the original route was altered in accordance with the court's ruling, claiming it needlessly disrupted Palestinians' lives. Atar demanded that the government set a six-month deadline for the completion of the fence. He refused to accept that the project was delayed solely because of the HCJ hearings, and claimed that those deliberations dealt with only a limited section of the fence, and could not excuse the construction delay. The initial route of the fence spanned approximately 800 kilometers and lay roughly along the green line, making inroads at various places to protect Israeli towns and settlements east of the green line. Thus far the fence has been constructed along only 275 kilometers - 35% of the route that was approved. Most of the completed sections cover the western part of Samaria and the Jerusalem periphery.