Following five years of protests and two years after High Court ruling, Israel begins first phase of altering route of West Bank barrier that cuts through Palestinian village; 'This is a very small and rather insignificant step,' resident says
Ali Waked Published: 02.11.10, 11:06 / Israel News
Measurements have commenced ahead of the anticipated changes in the route of a 1.7 kilometer (about a mile) section of the West Bank security barrier, which was built on land belonging to the Palestinian village of Bilin, Ynet reported Thursday.
It is estimated that it will be some time before the actual paving of the new route begins.
In 2007 the High Court of Justice ordered the State to partially dismantle and rebuild the fence so that it would not cut through Bilin. The barrier has been the focus of weekly demonstrations in the village for the past five years.
The surveyors' presence over the past few days did not seem to impress the residents of Bilin. "This is a very small and rather insignificant step, because the fence still runs through our land. The struggle will continue," said Mohammed Khatib of the Bilin Popular Committee against the Wall.
Israeli left-wing activist Yonatan Pollack called the planned changes to the barrier's route "cosmetic", adding, "Five years of protests have forced the army to change the fence's route, but the new route also confiscates Bilin lands in order to expand the settlement of Modi'in Illit."
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