Israel's Supreme Court has ordered the government to move a section of the West Bank separation barrier that has kept some Palestinians from reaching their fields.

The court Tuesday ruled that Israel must change the route of the barrier near the Palestinian village of Bilin.

Palestinian villagers and their supporters have protested the barrier at Bilin for two-and-a-half years, saying it prevents them from reaching their fields and orchards. The demonstrations have frequently turned violent and have resulted in clashes between protesters and Israeli police.

Israel had argued the barrier route was necessary to protect residents of a nearby Jewish settlement, Modiin Illit.

In 2002, Israel began building the massive West Bank security barrier, which is made of electric fence, barbed wire and concrete walls.

Israel says it is needed to prevent Palestinian suicide bombers from entering Israel. Palestinians say the barrier, which juts into the West Bank, is an Israeli effort to disguise a land grab.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP .