Israel argues security fence route necessitated by cost, not security Krista-Ann Staley at 9:07 AM ET
[JURIST] Lawyers for the state of Israel have argued in court papers filed with the Israeli High Court that moving a portion of the fully-constructed Security Fence [official website] as requested by Palestinian villagers is precluded by cost, said to be the first public admission by Israel that the route of the fence was not solely based on security considerations [IDF fence-routing backgrounder]. Residents of Azun, a Palestinian village cut off by the fence's departure from the 1967 Green Line border, had petitioned the High Court to direct a re-routing of the controversial West Bank barrier [Wikipedia entry]. After a 2004 High Court ruling that prohibited the state from basing barrier location decisions on "political" factors and relocation suggestions made by the International Court of Justice [advisory opinion], Israel had previously maintained that the fence could not be moved as its path was based solely on security. Observers also suggest that the new argument indicates that the Israeli government sees the fence as a long-term, not as a short-term solution as previously asserted. From Israel, Haaretz has more.
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