Israeli court upholds seizure of convent land for security wall
April 29, 2013
An Israeli court has affirmed the government’s decision to confiscate most of the land owned by a Salesian convent as the Israeli West Bank barrier through the Cremisan Valley, which is located near Bethlehem, is rerouted.
In a change from the government’s original plan, the court has ruled that the street to the Salesian primary school may remain open. Nevertheless the court authorized the seizure of land from the Salesians to build the wall.
The Latin-rite Catholic Patriarchate of Jerusalem expressed dismay at the court ruling. Auxiliary Bishop William Shomali observed, in an interview with the AsiaNews service: "Israel's security can be guaranteed by building the wall further away or by finding alternative solutions.” He pointed out, however, that the wall had already been built, since construction was not delayed even while the Salesian community pursued its legal appeal.