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The Barrier in Bil’in: Legal Developments

On May 29th 2008, Bil’in’s attorney Michael Sfard asked the High Court of Justice to establish that the State has violated its ruling concerning the barrier in Bil’in. Sfard argued that the State should be held in contempt, since the November ruling ordered to change the route of the barrier within “reasonable” time, but since then more than seven months passed, yet the security system hasn’t even presented the new route.

On June 2nd 2008, Judge Dorit Beinish, President of the Supreme Court, ordered the State to respond within seven days. Due to a technical delay at Court, the response of the State was submitted only on the 16th of June.

In it’s response, the State told the HCJ that within three weeks at the utmost, the new route – already approved by the Minister of Defense – will be presented, and new appropriation orders will be issued.

On 23rd June 2008, Beinish issued yet another decision, narrowing down further the ability of the security time to delay. In its decision Beinish ordered the State to submit “an update by the 7th of July 2008, and to indicate therein if the new appropriation order has been issued, and what is the timetable for the beginning of work and for the change of the route of the barrier on the ground”. In addition, Beinish ordered the State to respond to the claim made by Sfard, that in the meantime construction work in the “Matityahu East” neighborhood of the settlement of Modi’in Illit are being held, and these could undermine the realization of the Court ruling.