On the occasion of the Hearing on the Wall at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, PENGON/ Palestinian Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign calls upon all groups, networks and movements to raise their voice against this crime and denounce the illegal Wallâ¦
***image2***As the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague will hear arguments and testimonies on the Wall on February 23, there is an urgent need to make clear the popular, worldwide disapproval for the illegal Wall and need of the international community to take responsibility for what has already been declared illegal numerous times by the United Nations. There is serious concern in Palestine, and for all justice-seekers, that pressure on the Court and on others to prevent a swift or fair ruling against the Wall is taking place intensively as Israelâs concern for the outcome of the ICJ hearing increases.
And meanwhile, the construction of the Wall continues on a daily basis.
It has been shown that the Wall clearly violates the most fundamental human rights, such as the right to freedom of movement, right to health, right to work, right to property, right to education, right to food and water, right to freedom of religion and right of the child to their identity. Further, the Wall will result in the unlawful annexation of occupied land and, as a âgrave breachâ to the IV Geneva Convention, is considered a War Crime. The Israeli government is consistently violating international law in order to advance and concretize the Occupationâs stranglehold on Palestine through the construction of the Wall that, when completed, will reach approximately 730 km and bring about the de facto annexation of some 50% of the West Bank.
The Wall further establishes a system of Apartheid as its path clearly benefits the Jewish settlers and the State of Israel at the expense of the Palestinian population. This is clear as the rules imposed on the lands between the Green Line and the Wall require of Palestinian residents various forms of permits to stay, leave or enter their lands, rules that do not apply to citizens or residents of Israel and those entitled to citizenship by the Israeli Law of Return, hence institutionalising racial segregation and discrimination. Beyond the construction of the Wall, the worst consequences of its building would be the forced expulsion/transfer of the Palestinian population through unsustainable living conditions, creating a new generation of refugees or internally displaced persons. By expelling Palestinians from their land and annexing more land for colonization by Jewish settlers, the Wall responds to the racist argument of the âdemographic bombâ that sees in the mere presence of Palestinians a threat to the state of Israel as it undermines the supremacy of the Jewish citizens. That security is only a pretext to cover up the real motivations becomes evident by the route of the Wall which follows exclusively the logic of territorial expansion. In fact, the original plan to build the Wall dates back to at least 1973.
As the Wall continues to devastate irreversibly the lives of the Palestinian population through the appalling living conditions outside and along the Wall, and the large scale destruction of Palestinian property and heritage, its construction has to be stopped immediately! The resolution of the United Nations General Assembly, passed on December 8, 2003 requesting the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague give an Advisory Opinion on the legality of the Wall, is a further step to pressure Israel to stop the building of the Wall, while the opinion of the ICJ can be an important step forward towards the enforcement of international law and the respect of the rights of the Palestinian people.
However, the unacceptable abstentions by over 70 governments in the December UN vote has opened the door for the continued failure by those parties to take a clear position that will lead to an end to this War Crime. Most of these governments have and continue to state that the Wall is illegal but are now willing to take a stand against the involvement of the Court; over 30 governments submitted requests to the ICJ not to hear the case. Many of these same governments have in the recent past sent officials to visit affected communities in Palestine, have witnessed the crimes, and have spoken out clearly against the Wall. But, now they are backing down.
We as individuals, as members of civil society, as activists and seekers of justice, will continue to unite our efforts to pressure the International Community to both denounce the illegal Wall and ensure that the Wall is destroyed and dismantled. We call upon groups and individuals to take action by making the illegality of the Wall known, by disseminating information, by lobbying their governments, and by joining the many demonstrations that will take place on the occasion of the ICJ Hearing in an expression of the popular worldwide outcry against the Apartheid Wall in Palestine.
Join in the worldwide demonstrations that will call:
The Wall is Illegal!
Tear Down the Apartheid Wall!
Stop Israeli Occupation!