Israel to move part of W. Bank barrier

Defense Ministry: Section of fence near Kalkilya to be dismantled to restore Palestinian access to land.

Bilin fight 248.88 (photo credit: AP)
Bilin fight 248.88
(photo credit: AP)
Israel has agreed to move part of its West Bank separation barrier, according o a statement from the Defense Ministry Monday. The statement said that in response to an appeal to the High Court of Justice in Jerusalem, the barrier would be moved in order to restore access to Palestinian land in the Kalkilya area, in the northern part of the West Bank. The decision to re-route the section of the barrier was made in September 2007. The court had ruled that the barrier, as it had been planned, would cause disproportionate harm to Bil'in residents as it occupied 260 dunams (65 acres) of Palestinian land and left about 1,700 dunams of Palestinian orchards and pastures on the 'Israeli' side. The High Court ruling means that the army must change the route of the security fence around a neighborhood of Modi'in Illit, however the changes had not yet been put into place. Prior to the ruling, weekly protests against the fence were held at the village of Bil'in, with scuffles between demonstrators and IDF troops frequently breaking out. The protesters were predominantly Palestinians and left-wing activists. The Defense Ministry's Monday statement came in reply to a query from the Associated Press.