The construction of the wall is illegal: Israel obliged to dismantle!

Press release
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The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) welcomes the remarkable advisory opinion given by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the Hague on 9 July 2004 stating that the construction of the barrier/wall in the Palestinian occupied territory is contrary to international law and violates international humanitarian and human rights fundamental legal provisions.

By ruling that the construction of the barrier/wall in the Palestinian occupied territory by Israel, the occupying power, contravenes international law and must cease immediately, that the wall must be dismantled and that the palestinian owners must be compensated for the confiscation of their land, the ICJ takes a clear stand on the issue that was submitted to it in December 2003 by the UN General Assembly and obviously intends to crack down on the policy of annexation driven by the Government of Israel.

FIDH is very satisfied that the ICJ recalls once again that Israel is bound to comply with its obligation to respect the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and its obligations under international humanitarian law and human rights law.

FIDH underlines that according to the ruling “the wall, along with the route chosen, and its associated regime, gravely infringe a number of rights of palestinians residing in the territory occupied by Israel, and the infringements resulting from the route cannot be justified by military exigences or by the requirements of national security or public order”nor by self-defence: therefore, it must be noted that the “wall, along with the route chosen”, was declared to contravene international humanitarian law and human rights law provisions by infringing namely on Palestinians’ freedom of movement, freedom to seek employment, right to education and right to health.

The FIDH hopes that the advisory opinion given by the international court of justice will strengthen the encouraging legal precedent issued by the Israel High Court of Justice last week barring completion of construction work on the barrier/wall in a section south of Jerusalem.

Even though some present the advisory opinion given by the Court as not legally binding on Israel, the Court considers quasi-unanimously that Israel has the obligation under international law to comply with its requirements. This opinion emanates from the highest judicial body of the international community, unanimously considered as competent by its members. Therefore, the FIDH calls the authorities of Israel to implement it without delay, thus showing that they abide by the rule of international law.

Furthermore, the FIDH urges the UN General Assembly and Security Council, as requested by the ICJ, to take the necessary steps in order to put an end to the illegal situation created by the construction of the wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, respect and to ensure respect for the provisions of the 1949 Geneva Conventions.

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