(abouna.org) Israel’s Supreme Court, on August 11, 2014, issued its decision about the route of the wall in the Cremisan Valley. Following the August 4, 2014 hearing, the Court reviewed the proposed route of the separation wall, threatening to confiscate lands and vineyards of the Christian monastery and separate the religious community of the fathers and the sisters; and wants Israel to consider other alternatives to the wall’s direction.
The Court has decided that it is now up to Israel, as a defendant, to take into account different options for the routing wall, allowing two Salesian convents to remain on the Palestinian side. The Court gave Israel until September 4, 2014 for a response. The Court’s reply is therefore not yet definitive.
In this regard, counsel for the Saint Yves Society (a Catholic human rights organization working under the patronage of the Latin Patriarchate in Jerusalem.) Zvi Avni, representative of the monastery of the Salesian Sisters, explains: “the case is not yet complete, and a final decision has not yet been given. However, the decision of the Court is an indicator of the interest that the Court shows in a matter concerning religious freedom and freedom of religion regarding monasteries.”
The Cremisan Valley will be closed to the inhabitants of the region if the separation wall is built according to current Israeli plans. 58 Palestinian families will be dispersed and the Sisters’ convent will be cut off from the Priests. Families will lose their land, and the convent of the sisters, who run a school for children, will be located in a military zone cut off from the convent of fathers.
Associations of International Law have condemned the construction of the wall along a route that passed in the middle of Palestinian homesandland, separating families, andisolating them from their farmland.The wall will make it difficult to arrive at the Sisters’ school,and once annexed to Jerusalem, impossible to access the monastery of fathers who, since the 19thcentury, have lived inBeit Jala and have enjoyed historical relations and reciprocal friendship,brotherhood and solidarity with the people of the mainly Christiantown.
The International Court of Justice gave an advisory opinion on July 9, 2004, that building the separation wall is illegal.