Israel’s Supreme Court has ordered the government to dismantle an existing section of the controversial separation/security barrier east of Kfar Saba and to re-route the fence to include Arab areas on the Palestinian Authority side of the wall, leaving two large Jewish communities separated from the area east of Tel Aviv.
Residents of Shaarei Tikva and Oranit in western Samaria had been confident that they would be spared having to live beyond the barrier. Arabs and foreign supporters have pushed for the barrier to be re-routed along the “Green Line” that served as the border between Israel and Jordan for 19 years prior to the 1967 Six-Day War,.
The court order will also strongly impact the nearby Jewish towns of Elkana and Etz Ephraim, which will now form an isolated narrow enclave separate from other communities in western Samaria. The Defense Ministry also will be forced to build a special access road to the Jewish towns.
Supreme Court President Dorit Beinisch, joined by justices Ayala Procaccia and Uzi Fogelman, called the court ruling an attempt to delicately balance the rights of Arab residents with the security needs of local Jews and Israeli communities west of the fence.
However, a nearby Jewish resident who spoke with Israel National News rejected this position and noted that the court makes no mention of Jewish rights. He also note that before the first Intifada and the ensuing Oslo Accords, he used to travel freely and make purchases in Azzum-Atme,” the Arab villages which had been separated from other villages by the original route of the barrier.”