Um Salamuna Loses Court Case, Work Begins Again

23 February 2007

This morning when residents of Um Salamuna went out to work their land, they were greeted by soldiers from the Israeli Occupation Forces who informed them that they would not be allowed on their land today because Israeli engineers had to survey it and mark the path for the pending construction of the Wall. Two engineers, accompanied by six soldiers and two private security guards tramped through the family’s grape orchard marking the Wall’s proposed path with blue spray-paint.

The residents of Um Salamuna had a pending court case in the Israeli Supreme Court contesting the path of The Wall. The IOF was ordered not to commence any work on the area, including marking the land, before the case was decided. However, when the DCO arrived today they informed the residents that they had lost the court case, which was why the army began marking the land again. The residents have still not been presented with an official map of the path of The Wall through their land but have been informed that the bulldozing of their land will begin soon.

Over 2 years ago the Israeli Supreme Court included in a decision of a case brought before them contesting the path of The Wall that it could NOT be used for annexation of land to nearby settlements and the IOF must be able to prove that the path is based on security reasons alone. However, it is clear that the path of The Wall in the Wadi-An-Nis and Um Salamuna area, as in many other areas throughout the West Bank, could not possibly be based on security, snaking its way in and out of wadis and hills without defendable reason except to steal as much agricultural land as possible.
It is clear that the Efrat settlement will gain hundreds of dunums of land extra-judicially if the Wall is completed.