On Sunday, 13 May 2007, the Israeli High Court of Justice heard the petition brought by Al-Haq, Defence for Children International – Palestine Section and the residents of al-Nu’man village. The following is a brief summary of an unofficial translation of the court hearing.
In response to the difficulties caused by holding West Bank ID cards that, according to the Israeli authorities, render them "illegally present" in their own village, as well as Israeli settlement construction and expansion in the area, and the construction of the Annexation Wall near the village, the petitioners requested the re-routing of the Annexation Wall so that the village is not cut off from the rest of the West Bank. Alternatively, the villagers requested that they be given permanent residency status in East Jerusalem and free access to and from al-Nu’man, as is their right having been residents of the village since before 1967.
The respondents (namely the Prime Minister of Israel, the Minister of Defence, the Minister of Interior, the Municipality of Jerusalem and the Commander of the Israeli military forces in the West Bank), argued that the route of the Wall could not be amended to accommodate persons who, in their view, are “illegally present” in Jerusalem. The respondents further argued that the village’s residents could not be issued permanent residency status on the grounds that they could not prove that they resided in the village prior to 1967, having not been registered as residents of Jerusalem in 1967 due to a bureaucratic oversight on the part of the State of Israel. When questioned by the court as to the "security" considerations in the original decision to keep the village, and by extension the alleged security threat posed by its population, on the same side of the Wall as Israel, the respondents’ only retort was that the Wall has already been built and that financial considerations prevent it from being moved at this stage.
After hearing the parties’ arguments, the court gave the respondents until 1 October 2007 to present new conditions to the petitioners showing how they will meaningfully address their concerns. The court requested that the respondents address the question of whether the petitioners are, according to the Israeli authorities, residents of Jerusalem or the West Bank, and if the latter, what the Israe