After a five-year hiatus, work is to resume on the West Bank security barrier within a few weeks. The High Court of Justice approved the renewed work in the Gush Etzion and Jerusalem areas on Wednesday after holding a hearing on the issue. The court also approved work in the Ma’aleh Adumim area, slated to begin in 2013.
Started in 2002 at the height of the second intifada and built largely along the Green Line (with some deviations to include land inside the West Bank), the project is credited with helping to reduce terrorist attacks inside Israel. It attracted condemnation, however, from international and domestic left-wing groups.
When complete, the barrier, part concrete wall and part fence, is planned to extend 760 kilometers (470 miles), although to date only around 200 kilometers have been completed. On two occasions the High Court has ordered the re-routing of the barrier in response to successful lawsuits from Palestinians who proved their lives were adversely affected by the barrier.
The state explained that the building hiatus was due to budgetary concerns.