Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Israeli court hands down order to reroute West Bank barrier : CAROLYNNE WHEELER
JERUSALEM -- After 2 ½ years of a fight marked by tear gas and rubber bullets, the Battle of Bilin seems at last to have an end in sight, after a rare Israeli Supreme Court ruling ordering the army to reroute a part of its separation barrier near this West Bank village. 'We are ecstatic about the court's decision ... It is a step in the right direction,' Abdallah Abu Rahmeh, a village resident and one of the protest organizers, said in a telephone interview yesterday. Palestinians have been joined by Israeli and foreign activists in protests at Bilin since February, 2005, when the growing barrier of fortified fencing equipped with sensors began to separate farmers from their olive groves and orchards, effectively allotting the land to the nearby Jewish settlements of Modiin Illit. Each week, a few dozen protesters would show up to trade slogans and stones for the tear gas, the rubber bullets and batons of the soldiers pushing them back.

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