Israel’s Supreme Court: West Bank Fence Is Legal

Israel’s High Court of Justice on Thursday rejected a July 2004 ruling by the International Court of Justice in The Hague and ruled that Israel had the authority in principle to build a separation fence in the West Bank, beyond the “green line,” for security reasons. The court also ruled that the state must consider an alternative route for the fence near the West Bank settlement of Alfei Menashe.

The nine-justice panel ruled that according to international law, an army in occupied territory is authorized to erect a fence in order to protect the lives of Israelis, including settlers. The justices ruled that since the judges at The Hague were not presented with the complete evidential basis for Israel’s security needs, the international court’s ruling does not bind the Israeli High Court of Justice.