It was on 9 July 2004 that the International Court of Justice in The Hague handed down its Advisory Opinion — issued after more than a year of deliberations following a request from the UN General Assembly [this request for opinion was limited to “the legal consequences of the construction of those parts of the wall situated in Occupied Palestinian Territory”].
Part of the argument it considers says, in summary form, that: “Construction of the wall and its associated regime create a ‘fait accompli” on the ground that could well become permanent -Risk of situation tantamount to de facto annexation – Construction of the wall severely impedes the exercise by the Palestinian people of its right to self-determination and is therefore a breach of Israel’s obligation to respect that right“.
The ICJ concludes, in this Advisory Opinion, that: “Construction of the wall and its associated regime are contrary to international law”.
It also concludes that there is a “need for efforts to be encouraged, with a view to achieving as soon as possible, on the basis of international law, a negotiated solution to the outstanding problems and the establishment of a Palestinian State, with peace, and security, for all in the region”.
Continue reading Today is the 7th anniversary of ICJ Advisory Opinion on The Wall
Nabil El-Araby (ElAraby) has been named the Foreign Minister of the new Egypt.
A brilliant choice.
See his separate opinion on the Advisory Opinion on the Wall, here, written when he served as a Judge on the International Court of Justice:
“What I consider relevant to emphasize is that this special responsibility [of the United Nations for Palestine, as mentioned in the main body of the Advisory Opinion of July 2004] was discharged for five decades without proper regard for the rule of law. The question of Palestine has dominated the work of the United Nations since its inception, yet no organ has ever requested the International Court of Justice to clarify the complex legal aspects of the matters under its purview. Decisions with far-reaching consequences were taken on the basis of political expediency, without due regard for the legal requirements. Even when decisions were adopted, the will to follow through to implementation soon evaporated. Competent United Nations organs, including the General Assembly and the Security Council, have adopted streams of resolutions that have remained wholly or partially unfulfilled. The United Nations special responsibility has its origins in General Assembly resolution 181 (II) of 29 November 1947, hereafter the Partition Resolution”…
The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, wrapped up Friday a couple of days visit in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory.
(0Pt = UN terminology, adopted from the 2004 Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice on the Wall, which she mentions below).
In a statement to the media, Pillay said “The settlement of Israeli citizens in the occupied Palestinian territory is clearly prohibited under international law. As a result, all State actions in support of the establishment and maintenance of the settlements, including incentives to create them and the establishment of infrastructure to support them, are illegal under international law. They should be stopped altogether. The idea that a partial or temporary halt is a valuable concession in the peace process, to be traded against something else, is turning the law on its head. The annexation of East Jerusalem contravenes customary international law, as confirmed by Security Council and General Assembly resolutions. This has also been recognized by the International Court of Justice. Because of its illegality, the annexation has not been recognized by any State. Under international law, East Jerusalem remains part of the West Bank and is occupied territory. All settlement-related activities, and any legal or administrative decision or practice that directly or indirectly coerce Palestinians to leave East Jerusalem, including evictions, demolitions, forced displacements and cancelation of residence permits on a discriminatory basis, should be halted and restrictions on access to East Jerusalem by other West Bank inhabitants should be lifted…”
Continue reading UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Jerusalem: "I don't do politics, I do law"
The UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has published a report for the occasion, entitled “The Impact of the Barrier [The Wall] on Health”.
Here is one of the most dismal pieces of information in the report: “The Barrier gate opening times pose potential health risks for the thousands of farmers who enter their land in the ‘Seam Zone’ on a daily or seasonal basis. The majority of gates open for brief periods, two to three times daily: only two Barrier gates out of 13 open continuously throughout the day. As the gates
are locked and unstaffed by soldiers between these short opening times, a widespread anxiety among farmers is that in the event of a work accident, snake bite or pesticide inhalation, they are unable to leave the ‘Seam Zone.’ Unless they succeed in attracting the attention of the military patrol which controls the gates (or communicate through the Humanitarian Hotline to the DCL – Israeli District Coordination Liaison Office) they are stuck until the next opening time, without access to first aid or emergency care. Restrictions on vehicles passing through the Barrier gates means that an injured person needs to be
transported by horse, mule or tractor to the gates, which often necessitates a long detour over rugged terrain. The farmers’ anxiety is compounded by the realization that access restrictions to the ‘Seam Zone’ also prevent the entry of health professionals and ambulances from assisting those in need of medical care. (See OCHA oPt, ‘Five Years after the International
Court of Justice Advisory Opinion’, July 2009, p. 36, for the case of a farmer who severed his fingers with a chainsaw while working in the closed are behind the Barrier)…
Continue reading Today is the sixth anniversary of the ICJ opinion on The Wall
The Advisory Opinion was a landmark — and it has been ignored.
A reminder: five years ago today, the International Court of Justice in the Hague, Netherlands, handed down an Advisory Opinion – on 9 July 2009 – which ruled that
“The construction of the wall being built by Israel, the occupying Power, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, and its associated régime, are contrary to international law”.
Continue reading 5th anniversary – International Court of Justice Advisory Opinion on the Legal Consequences of the Construction of A Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory