Home / Open letter: The separation barrier in Bil’in

Open letter: The separation barrier in Bil’in

Update and call for help

In a high-profile ruling of 4th September 2007, the Israeli Supreme Court concluded that the already built Separation Barrier in the West Bank village of Bil’in is illegal. The Court noted that the existing route was designed to accommodate plans for the future expansion of the settlement of Modi’in Illit and for the construction of a new 3,000 housing-units neighborhood therein, despite the fact that some of these plans require further approval before they can be realized. The judges ordered the State to redraw the barrier, so that the new route shall not take into account planning schemes not yet finally approved. In the ruling, the Court emphasized that “in light of the continuous harm to the residents of Bil’in… the respondents should consider, within reasonable time, an alternative route” (underline added).

More than eight months since the Supreme Court ruling had been released, the barrier declared illegal has not been dismantled. Worse still, as of early May 2008, the State has not even presented its plan for the amended route. In other words, the Israeli government has been bluntly ignoring the ruling of the highest juridical authority in the Israel. Furthermore, recently construction has resumed in the new settlers’ neighborhood. If a decision on the new route is not taken soon, the settlers will likely establish irreversible facts on the ground, so that upholding the Court’s ruling will no longer be possible.

We, co-partners in the long-lasting civilian struggle of the people of Bil’in against the theft of their lands under the guise of security, call upon your Excellency to employ your influence and pressure the government of Israel to do what it is required to do by law – to adhere to the ruling of the Supreme Court, to dismantle the Separation Barrier in Bil’in and to return to the village a considerable part of its lands now on the “Israeli” side of the route.

In order to provide further essential details about the case of Bil’in and the Court ruling, we ask that you meet with us at the time and place convenient for you.

With many thanks in advance,

Sincerely yours,