The Wall is only about 70 percent complete, new deadline for completion is … not until 2020

Jamal Juma’, in an interview with Ida Audeh published on the Electronic Intifada [EI] website, said, about the announced intention of the Palestinian leadership to go to the UN in September, that: “We have been talking to the national forces and leftist and democratic forces and institutions, as well as to the Palestinian human rights [and civil society organizations]. We developed a working paper that outlines our positions. We wanted to get a legal perspective on what international law says about going to the UN. We concluded that we should in fact go to the UN but not in order to establish a state on the 1967 borders. We should be demanding that the membership of the PLO be raised to state status“…

What should go to the UN Security Council, Juma said, is the un-implemented Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice in the Hague on The Wall.

Juma’, from East Jerusalem, was detained and imprisoned for over a month by Israel in late 2009 and early 2010 — without charges being filed.

In the EI interview, Juma’ told Audeh that since 2002 “We wanted to stop construction on the wall, to tear down the sections that had been built and to return properties to the farmers who owned them. Incidentally, these goals were identical to the recommendations of the International Court of Justice in 2004 … When Israel started to work on the wall in 2002, the plan was to complete it in 2005. At the time the government was talking about a 650-700 kilometer wall. Construction was halted in some areas because of resistance by affected communities. Court cases were initiated, which took six or seven months, during which time all construction was put on hold. So the deadline was pushed back from 2005 to 2008. In 2008 they pushed it to 2011. And this year they couldn’t finish it either, so the new deadline they set is 2020. [The length of the wall is now projected to be 810 km long.]”

Juma’ told Audeh that he believed “popular resistance had a primary role in delaying the completion”, but regretted that there has not been implementation of the 2004 Advisory Opinion handed down by the International Court of Justice in the Hague on the “LEGAL CONSEQUENCES OF THE CONSTRUCTION OF A WALL IN THE OCCUPIED PALESTINIAN TERRITORY”.

In this Advisory Opinion, the panel of Judges ruled that “the construction of the wall being built by Israel, the occupying power … and its associated regime, are contrary to international law”. The ruling said that Israel “is under an obligation to terminate its breaches of international law”, to stop its construction work and to take down what has already been constructed, and to dismantle the “associated regime” — including laws, rules, regulations, checkpoints etc., and to make reparation for all damages caused. The ruling said all states should end any support for the wall and its associated regime, and that signatories to the Fourth Geneva Convention protecting civilians in time of war should ensure Israel’s compliance “with international humanitarian law as embodied in that Convention”.

Juma’ said, in the interview, that “Pressure was placed on the the Palestinian Authority and the Palestine Liberation Organization to leave the decision in a drawer and not to move on it. So the decision was frozen and never submitted to the United Nations Security Council even to this day. Today, more than any other time past, after the total closing of political horizons, and the collapse of what is referred to as negotiations, and the clear, US position of total support for settlements, we say now we must start to challenge. We have to start a global battle in the international law arena. The first thing the PA must do is to take this recommendation and put it on the track for implementation within the Security Council and other international fora”.

In addition, Juma’ said that “one of our most important goals is to find a way to implicate the national forces to put their full weight behind popular resistance, to make it their top priority. Everyone talks about popular resistance but in practical terms no one is thinking of implementation. Another reason for the fact that places like Bilin and Budrus [in Area C of the West Bank, under full control of the Israeli Ministry of Defense’s “Civil Administration”] are resisting alone is the following: 70 percent of the population of the West Bank is in Area A, which is under the control of the PA, and they are prevented from engaging in popular resistance. At least 95 percent of the refugee camps are in Area A, and so are the largest cities. The PA’s position is that whoever wants to resist should not be in Area A, as though area A is liberated. This is one of the most deadly issues killing popular resistance. Because when you exclude 70 percent of your population, then you are not supporting popular resistance. So the villages in Area C, which are in the path of the wall, can take action against the wall. But try to go [in area A] and you find the Palestinian security forces there ahead of you. We have to overcome this”…

This interview with Jamal Juma’ is published on the Electronic Intifada website here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *