JERUSALEM - The Israeli Supreme Court of Justice on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 examined the appeal filed by the families of the Cremisan Valley, who risk seeing their lands confiscated to allow the extension of the separation wall between Israel and the West Bank. The Court’s decision will be delivered in a month.
On Wednesday, January 29, the courtroom of the Israeli Supreme Court of Justice was filled by many who witnessed what will likely be the final appeal to the Court to prevent the construction of the Separation Wall in the Cremisan Valley. The valley, located in Beit Jala, is an agricultural land that supports the livelihood of fifty Christian families. A project of the Israeli army plans to erect the wall, even though this valley is located in the West Bank and far removed from the “Green Line” internationally recognized border, drawn up after the Six-Day War of 1967.
Many diplomats traveled to the hearing: various Jerusalem Consulate members, diplomats from Ramallah, the mayors of Beit Jala and Bethlehem, Catholic Church representatives and, especially, the families who are likely to be affected by the construction of the wall. The three judge Court, during the three-hour hearing, focused on listening to both parties, the Cremisan families and the army. Bishop Shomali, Patriarchal Vicar for Palestine, attended the hearing and was pleasantly surprised by “listening quality of the judges and the attention brought to the defense of the family.”
However, this serene atmosphere may not perhaps be the harbinger of a favorable verdict which will be delivered in a month. “My skeptical side makes me think that there will be no decision in favor of the Cremisan population because the Israeli security is sacred, warns Bishop Shomali, but my heart refuses the idea of resignation and reminds me that there is always hope, because we have prayed much and have provided a very good defense.”
Waiting for the verdict expected in a month, the people of Cremisan have a new but brief respite, and perhaps finally, if the Supreme Court decides to grant these families their rights, to live and stay on their land.
Pierre Loup de Raucourt