RAMALLAH, February 13 (JMCC) - Palestinians and Salesian monks and nuns made one more appeal to Israeli courts Wednesday to ask that Israel reroute the Wall that is severing homes and land from the nearby urban center of Bethlehem, reports the
At a hearing at the Tel Aviv Magistrates Court, lawyers made their final arguments in a years-long case against the planned route of the separation barrier in the Cremisan Valley on the outskirts of Beit Jala, between Bethlehem and al-Quds.While Israeli courts have rejected the International Court of Justice's ruling that the entire Wall violates international law by winding through occupied territory, they have ruled that authorities must take into consideration hardship hardship caused to residents and have sometimes forced the cement and electronic fencing structure to be moved.
The petitioners say that if the route is not changed, the towering concrete barrier will cut off 58 families from their land and separate a Roman Catholic convent from a monastery of the same Salesian order.
“The petitioners are asking that the route of the barrier be moved outside of the Cremisan Valley. They are not saying where it should go but are asking for it to be put somewhere which causes less harm to the community,” said Anica Heinlein, spokeswoman for the St Yves Society which represents the Salesian Sisters convent.
The landowners’ case against the route of the barrier began in 2006 after the military issued seizure orders for the land, she said. The initial case was launched by the 58 families and later joined by the Salesian nuns and the monks. “This is the final hearing then (the judges) will look through all the material from the last seven years and make a decision,” she said.