Israel’s Supreme Court drops Battir wall case after military ends project

World Today

Israel’s Supreme Court rejected the military’s plan to extend its separation barrier through an ancient Palestinian village after the military dropped it’s defense of the the project. CCTV’s Roee Ruttenberg reported this story from the West Bank.

The court dropped the seven-year-old case after the military this week halted its planned construction of Israel’s so-called security barrier that would have cut through Battir village land.

Israel's Supreme Court drops Battir wall case after military ends project

Israel's Supreme Court rejected the military's plan to extend its separation barrier through an ancient Palestinian village after the military dropped it's defense of the the project. CCTV's Roee Ruttenberg reported this story from the West Bank.

Battir was named a world heritage site by UNESCO as it was once the vegetable valley of Jerusalem. Israel had previously said that the project was needed because its trains that run through the valley needed to be protected by a wall.

This week the Israeli Defense Ministry said the barrier was no longer a security or budgetary priority. However some sources in the ministry told CCTV that the government is reserving its right to raise the issue again.

“We don’t trust the Israelis, we never have. All the time they are just grabbing our lands, but we have a right to this land, and we enjoy support, here and internationally,” Battir Local Council member Elian Eshami said.

In a rare move, the Supreme Court said Israel must give villagers a 60-day notice if it intends to resume its case.

Palestinian and Israeli environmental activists who were co-petitioners against along with the village said the project is detrimental to the area.

“It’s cutting the continuation of the landscapes, but also besides this it is cutting the biodiversity. That means animals and plants exist in this area, which is as integral to the land. It’s not just about the landscapes here in this area, but for the whole region,” Mohammed Obaidallay, a member of Friends of the Earth International said.