The Wall must come down
Five years ago, on 7 July 2004, the International Court of Justice declared Israel’s construction of the Wall in the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) to be “contrary to international law” .
The Court went on to order
Five years on,
Instead, 86% of its projected route
is inside the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and its circuitous route was
chosen so that it encircles 80 Jewish settlements, physically
connecting them to
As currently projected, the Wall will be 725 km long, when complete. By contrast, a security fence built on the Green Line would have been less than half the length – and cost a great deal less.
Despite Israel’s initial protestations
to the contrary, it has always been clear that the Wall was intended as the
border fence for an expanded Israeli state, with as many Jewish settlements as
possible included within the new border.
recent years, Israeli ministers have given up pretending otherwise. For example, former Foreign Minister, Tzipi
Livni, stated publicly that the Wall will serve as “the future
border of the state of
THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE WALL has severely disrupted the lives of Palestinians residing in its vicinity.
For example, Israel has
declared the area between the Wall and the Green Line to be ‘closed’ by
military order and most Palestinians who live there are required to have
‘permanent resident’ permits to continue to live in their own homes. This restriction is discriminatory, since it doesn’t
apply to Israeli citizens or to any person of Jewish origin, who, under the Law
of Return, has a right to live in
Because of the Wall, Palestinians
living in this ‘closed zone’ have become physically separated from the rest of
In addition, tens of thousands of Palestinians who
reside to the east of the Wall have been isolated from farms, grazing lands and
water resources located on the west side. In the northern
For the minority granted permits, access is through a limited number of designated gates. Along the total length of the Barrier, there are 64 gates currently open on a daily, weekly and/or seasonal basis. The irregular placement of the gates and the restrictive opening times severely curtail the time available for farming with negative impact on rural livelihoods.
FROM THESE EXAMPLES, it is clear that large numbers of Palestinians, who live in the vicinity of the Wall, have suffered terribly because of its construction. It is long past time for the international community to ensure that the ruling of the International Court of Justice be enforced, so that this suffering is brought to an end.
The Court stated in its opinion:
“The United Nations, and especially the General Assembly and the Security Council, should consider what further action is required to bring to an end the illegal situation resulting from the construction of the wall and the associated regime.”
The UN General Assembly asked
20 July 2009