More on The Wall – a Barrier

In his recent report to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Special Rapporteur Richard Falk wrote this — but why does he call it the “barrier”/”Barrier”?:

“Israel has largely ignored the Advisory Opinion of 9 July 2004 of the International Court of Justice regarding the barrier…

Falk’s report continues: “On 20 February 2005, the Israeli Government approved the revised route of the separation barrier. This route seals off most of East Jerusalem, with its 230,000 Palestinian residents, from the West Bank (i.e. it divides Palestinians from Palestinians, rather than Palestinians from Israelis). The Barrier is not only motivated by security considerations. On 21 June 2005, the Israeli High Court ruled that it was legal to take into account political considerations, in addition to security considerations, for the routing of the barrier in East Jerusalem because East Jerusalem had been Israeli territory since its annexation in 1967 (i.e. political considerations are not legal in the West Bank, which has not been annexed to Israel). On 10 July the Israeli Cabinet decided to route the Jerusalem barrier so as to keep around 55,000 East Jerusalemite Palestinians, mainly in the Shu’afat refugee camp, outside the barrier. The fact that the Cabinet decision not only included short-term but also long-term measures designed to accommodate the new situation created by the Barrier – e.g. constructing new educational institutions and encouraging hospitals to open branches “beyond the fence” – appears to contradict the notion of the Barrier being a temporary rather than a permanent structure. And if Israel were to provide adequate municipal services to the areas excluded (as it is promising to do) this would be in contrast to hitherto poor service provision in the rest of East Jerusalem. Israeli NGOs working on the Jerusalem issue have looked at Israeli proposals to ensure that the people affected are not ‘cut off’ from the city, and judged them deficient … “

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