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Beit Sourik Village Council v. Israel

Supreme Court of Israel as the High Court of Justice
HCJ 2056/04 (2004)


Facts

In the 1960s, the United Nations Security Council passed a Resolution urging Israel (defendant) to withdraw from territories in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Years later, Israel executed various agreements related to its affairs in the occupied territories and, in 2005, withdrew from its settlements in the Gaza Strip. However, Israel did keep some of its settlements, which were expanded and maintained under military rule and belligerent-occupation principles. In 2012, Israel began building a large wall (Separation Fence) along over 400 miles of the West Bank. The barrier was meant to separate Israel’s West Bank settlements from the rest of the territory. Part of the Separation Fence was constructed pursuant to a 1949 armistice line, but some sections reached far into the West Bank. The Israeli Defense Force (IDF) (defendant) ordered the seizure of parcels of land in Judea and Samaria, sections of the West Bank, in order to build the wall. As a result, many local inhabitants were cut off from their farm lands. The local Palestinians (plaintiffs) brought suit challenging the IDF’s orders in relation to a 25-mile section of the Separation Fence, arguing that the orders constituted an illegal taking of Palestinian land. Israel contended that the Separation Fence was a legal and justified necessity to defend itself from Palestinian terrorism and, specifically, from suicide bombers.

Rule of Law

The rule of law is the black letter law upon which the court rested its decision.

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Barak, J.)

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  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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