Basic info: the Wall and international law

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Palestinian Grassroots Anti-apartheid Wall Campaign

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the Hague, despite intense pressure from Israel, the US and EU Governments, confirms what Palestinians and the world have known since the beginning of its planning and construction – THE WALL IS ILLEGAL!

 
Please click here to download the full ruling in PDF format.
Please click here to download a summary by the ICJ of the ruling regarding the legal consequences of the Wall.
Please click here of a list of relevant documents produced by the International Court of Justice.
Please click here for the Stop the Wall press release, July 9 "The International Court of Justice Declares: THE WALL IS ILLEGAL! - Palestine Demands: Immediate Sanctions and Boycott of Apartheid Israel!".  
 
Below see: 
 
1) The conclusions of the official ICJ ruling on the legal consequences of the Wall
2) Relevant factsheets and reports
3) Legal analysis 
 
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1) The conclusions of the official ICJ ruling on the legal consequences of the Wall
 
THE COURT,
 
(1) Unanimously,
 
Finds that it has jurisdiction to give the advisory opinion requested;
 
(2) By fourteen votes to one,
 
Decides to comply with the request for an advisory opinion;
 
IN FAVOUR: President Shi; Vice President Ranjeva; Judges Guillaume, Koroma, Vereshchetin, Higgins, Parra Aranguren, Kooijmans, Rezek, Al Khasawneh, Elaraby, Owada, Simma, Tomka;
 
AGAINST: Judge Buergenthal;
 
(3) Replies in the following manner to the question put by the General Assembly:
 
A. By fourteen votes to one,
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;
 
IN FAVOUR: President Shi; Vice President Ranjeva; Judges Guillaume, Koroma, Vereshchetin, Higgins, Parra Aranguren, Kooijmans, Rezek, Al Khasawneh, Elaraby, Owada, Simma, Tomka;
 
AGAINST: Judge Buergenthal;
 
B. By fourteen votes to one,
Israel is under an obligation to terminate its breaches of international law; it is under an obligation to cease forthwith the works of construction of the wall being built in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, to dismantle forthwith the structure therein situated, and to repeal or render ineffective forthwith all legislative and regulatory acts relating thereto, in accordance with paragraph 151 of this Opinion;
 
IN FAVOUR: President Shi; Vice President Ranjeva; Judges Guillaume, Koroma, Vereshchetin, Higgins, Parra Aranguren, Kooijmans, Rezek, Al Khasawneh, Elaraby, Owada, Simma, Tomka;
 
AGAINST: Judge Buergenthal;
 
C. By fourteen votes to one,
Israel is under an obligation to make reparation for all damage caused by the construction of the wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem;
 
IN FAVOUR: President Shi; Vice President Ranjeva; Judges Guillaume, Koroma, Vereshchetin, Higgins, Parra Aranguren, Kooijmans, Rezek, Al Khasawneh, Elaraby, Owada, Simma, Tomka;
 
AGAINST: Judge Buergenthal;
 
D. By thirteen votes to two,
All States are under an obligation not to recognize the illegal situation resulting from the construction of the wall and not to render aid or assistance in maintaining the situation created by such construction; all States parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 12 August 1949 have in addition the obligation, while respecting the United Nations Charter and international law, to ensure compliance by Israel with international humanitarian law as embodied in that Convention;
 
IN FAVOUR: President Shi; Vice President Ranjeva; Judges Guillaume, Koroma, Vereshchetin, Higgins, Parra Aranguren, Rezek, Al Khasawneh, Elaraby, Owada, Simma, Tomka;
 
AGAINST: Judges Kooijmans, Buergenthal;
 
E. By fourteen votes to one,
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 régime, taking due account of the present Advisory Opinion.
 
IN FAVOUR: President Shi; Vice President Ranjeva; Judges Guillaume, Koroma, Vereshchetin, Higgins, Parra Aranguren, Kooijmans, Rezek, Al Khasawneh, Elaraby, Owada, Simma, Tomka;
 
AGAINST: Judge Buergenthal.
 
 
Done in French and in English, the French text being authoritative, at the Peace Palace, The Hague, this ninth day of July, two thousand and four, in two copies, one of which will be placed in the archives of the Court and the other transmitted to the Secretary General of the United Nations.
 
(Signed) SHI Jiuyong,
President.
 
(Signed) Philippe COUVREUR,
Registrar.
 
 
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2) Relevant factsheets and reports
 
 
Israel’s construction of the Apartheid Wall in the West Bank constitutes a grave violation of human rights and international law. The Apartheid Wall will result in the unilateral demarcation of a new border in the West Bank and the effective annexation of occupied land. Other violations of international law include collective punishment of the civilian population, the seizing of private property by an occupying power, the demolition of houses and property, and the violation of such basic human rights as the right to work and freedom of movement. In this fact sheet, which analyzes the Wall and its impact in the context of international humanitarian and human rights law, is an important resource for making clear that the Wall’s illegality cannot be denied. Download in PDF [1 MB]
 
 
On the occasion of 5th anniversary of the ICJ decision, the Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions (COHRE) and the Grassroots Palestinian Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign issued a joint report entitled Rights without Remedy. The report examines the impact the Wall has had on the rights of the Palestinian population and the inadequacy of measures taken by Israel and the international community to ensure that the ICJ’s Advisory Opinion is implemented or redress provided to victims of damages or human rights violations caused by the Wall. Download here.
 
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3) Legal analysis:
 
 
 
July 29th, 2004 -- No doubt, expectations in Palestine - and among its supporters - had been low in regards to the International Court of Justice "Advisory Opinion. " The Court, as the United Nations as a whole, was expected to fall substantially short in its decision. With the continued failure of the UN in relation to Palestinian rights and self-determination, the decision or opinion was understood as predominantly public relations. With the continued malleability of the law based on Israeli, US and European interest, it was expected that the Court would take an even more conservative approach than the General Assembly, which often time seeks to reflect popular international sentiment in support of the Palestinian struggle. 
 
 
July 7th, 2005 -- As world leaders gather in Scotland for the G8 summit, the Palestinian people and solidarity groups across the world will mark the first anniversary of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruling on the Apartheid Wall. The court, having taken up the popular appeals from Palestine, stipulated that the Wall is illegal and must be dismantled while directing the international community “not to render aid or assistance in maintaining the situation created by [the Wall’s] construction”. In the latest campaign analysis we unravel the complicity and support of the international community for the Apartheid Wall and Occupation's project of expelling the Palestinian people from their lands.  
 
 
February 21st, 2004 -- The Israeli wall in the Occupied West Bank is almost one-third complete, a year and a half after construction began. It snakes deep inside the West Bank, devouring fertile land into de facto Israeli-controlled areas, encircling residential areas and ghettoizing the Palestinian population. That the Wall is a violation of international law is not new.
 
 
October 23rd, 2003 -- The October 21 passing of the United Nations General Assembly resolution calling upon Israel to “stop and reverse” the Apartheid Wall is being hailed by some as a mark of success for justice in Palestine or a noteworthy step in tearing the Wall down. But, praise and relief for the UN decision should be seen as misguided, as a reading of the text finds that the Resolution presents the issue within a framework that denies the fundamental distinction between Occupied and Occupier. [MORE] 
 
 
February 23rd, 2004 -- As the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague hears Oral Arguments in the case against the Wall, the Israelis have decided they will not participate in the Hearing, aware that there is nothing legitimate--or legal--about the Wall. Instead, parallel Israeli efforts to undermine the case against the Wall were well underway from the start, including arguments that the political nature of the Wall should prevent the court from hearing the case. In the end, the media is an Israeli dominated arena where much of its political agenda plays itself out. 
 
 
February 21st, 2004 -- We believed in the power of the law when our Campaign received news of the United Nations General Assembly Resolution in October 2003. The Resolution demanded that Israel stop construction of the Wall and demolish the existing sections within one month’s time. We believed, but conditionally, since Israel’s violation of international law and the UN resolutions is continuous and unhindered.
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