Israel Goes Ahead with Fence Move, Despite Terror
Security fence to be moved in five weeks.
Follows ruling from Israeli Supreme Court.
Israel opened 80 gates to allow Palestinians to reach work.
Israel is advancing plans to alter the route of its security fence to aid Palestinians in the vicinity, despite the terror attack that rocked the country this weekend.
Construction continued on the fence on Sunday, as Israel buried five members of the Fogel family, who were killed as they slept on Saturday.
Following a ruling by the Israeli Supreme Court, one mile (1.7 km) of the security fence is being rerouted close to Modi’in Illit, which lies between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.
As a result some two million square feet (700,000 square meters) of land will return to residents of the Palestinian village Bil’in. The ruling follows more than five years of protests which often turned to violent riots. There have been casualties on both sides.
The original route was calculated to encompass a large hill which was seen as a key vantage point by the Israel Defense Forces.
The court argued that Israel’s strive for coexistence superceded these original strategic considerations. The court accepted the Palestinian contention that the old route prevented the natural expansion of Bil’in and hindered access to agricultural land.
The new fence primarily comprises concrete wall because in some places the new route will pass as close as 600 feet (200 yards) to Modi’in Illit. It is feared that residents of the Israeli town could be subjected to sniper fire.
Israel’s security fence is 93 percent wire fencing, backed up by electronic and human surveillance.
In addition to altering the route of the fence in several places, Israel has installed 80 gates to allow farmers and builders to access their workplaces on the other side of the fence.
There are 40 gates which are opened daily and a further 40 that are seasonal and opened during the olive harvest.
Palestinians can operate some of these crossings by remote control.