Zionist wall condemned by international court

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has declared the Separation Wall being built by the Zionist government on Palestinian land to be totally illegal. In a damning judgement issued from The Hague at the beginning of July the ICJ stated ‘the construction of the wall and its associated regime are contrary to international law’.

Quoting several sections of human rights legislation, including the 4th Geneva Convention, the Court ruled that ‘Israel must immediately cease construction of the wall in all areas, dismantle parts already built and repeal any legislation or regulations relating to the wall’.

The Separation Wall, a combination of eight-metre-high concrete, electric fencing and razor wire, with trenches, cameras and armed checkpoints, is planned to run for over 400 miles inside the West Bank territory. Effectively creating a concentration camp for the Palestinian people, it cuts through Palestinian villages and neighbourhoods; destroying homes and farms; isolating communities and controlling the movement of the Palestinian people. As a result, nearly 50% of the West Bank territory will be annexed to ‘Greater Israel’, including almost all of the Palestinian areas in East Jerusalem. The first 90-mile section of the wall was completed in July 2003 with the remainder due to be finished next year. Already thousands of Palestinians have seen their homes destroyed to make way for the wall and many have been killed or injured in protests against its construction.

The ICJ ruling condemns all these actions by the Zionists and states that Israel must make reparations for damages caused by the construction of the wall. Its judgement reiterates the illegality of Israeli settlements; the unilateral demarcation of a new border in the West Bank; the seizure and destruction of property; the effective annexation of occupied lands and settlements and the demographic changes in Palestine as a result of the wall’s path. Furthermore, the Court dismissed as irrelevant the Israeli excuse that the wall is for security or self-defence. It ruled that Israel has a responsibility to bring to justice the crimes of any person involved in the ‘planning, construction and use of the wall’.

On 21 July, the United Nations General Assembly voted by 150 to six with 10 abstentions, pressing the Zionist state to abide by the ICJ ruling. The six countries opposing the resolution were Israel, the US, Australia and three small Pacific island countries which are US dependencies. However, the resolution stopped short of calling for sanctions against the Zionists as the ICJ ruling urged, and this allowed Britain and EU countries to vote for it. As expected, Israel has denounced both the ICJ ruling and the UN vote, and with US support will ignore both. Anti-imperialists must redouble their efforts for a complete boycott.

Jim Craven

FRFI 180 August / September 2004


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