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Palestinian Grassroots Anti-apartheid Wall Campaign

The Israeli High Court rules out 30 km of the Apartheid Wall<br>What about the other 730 Kms?

Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign
info@stopthewall.org -- www.stopthewall.org

On June 30th. the Occupation's High Court ruled against 30 kms of the Wall’s path that is to be built in 7 villages Northwest Jerusalem, demanding that the Occupation Military propose new maps that will be based on "the proper balance between security and humanitarian considerations..."

The Court sought to give the impression that security should not be achieved at the expense of people's lives. Instead, it ordered that the military return with a better version of the Wall, an Apartheid Wall whose very goal is to encircle, imprison, and strangulate the Palestinian population. All possible versions of such a "project" leaves people percentages of their lands illegally taken by the Occupation, while enlarging the enclaves in which they are confined.

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This "slap on the wrist" is by the Occupation Court that is notorious for falling on the "security argument" to give the rubber stamp to its military and government in countless human rights violations and war crimes, only to back down with international pressure. Contrary to many news reports, such a decision does not carry with it any legal or practical precedence. Meanwhile, the military and the State held today in their hands during the hearing detailed maps, all of which demarcated the Wall's path in various areas, none of which are made immediately public, most of which will come into fruition.

The true test is the Court's failure to save from destruction the lives of 13,000 Palestinians in the northern West Bank who now live imprisoned in their villages having to take permits in order to live in their villages and houses and it failed to save 73,000 farmers in 51 villages from losing their agricultural lands and only source of income. More importantly, this is the very same court that approved the demolition of hundreds of houses in Rafah last May, causing thousands of already refugee Palestinians to become refugees for the second time.

How must Palestinians understand such a decision, both in its content and timing? What is clear is that the Court did not have a sudden change in its approach to Palestinian rights which it has violated countless times. If anything, the Court's approval of the Apartheid Wall being built on Palestinian land highlights this point. Ultimately, as the Wall is the cornerstone of the Bantustanization of Palestinian areas under the cynical name of "state-building", the exact path of the Wall has little significance, it is the Wall itself that is the crime.

The only, and dangerous, precedent that the Court decision sets is how Israel and its supporters seek to deal with the International Court of Justice Advisory Opinion to be released on the 9th of July in The Hague. According to today’s decision, a simple shift of the Wall's path by a few meters will make an illegal Wall legal and put the burden on the Palestinians to prove the "new" path to be an illegal one, beginning the whole international legal and public opinion process from the start, all the while the Wall continues to be built relentlessly through the Occupied West Bank. Israel is rendering the International Court of Justice a tragic farce and sealing the fate of the Palestinian people.

The court decision is not a victory. For Palestinians, the ruling needs to be seen in relation to the upcoming release of the ICJ opinion that will probably slam the Wall's path. Israel prepares to make cosmetic shifts in the route of the Apartheid Wall – formally invalidating any ICJ decision – without endangering the real goals of its construction: massive annexation of West Bank territory and the ghettoization, dispossession and expulsion of the Palestinian population.

According to UN resolutions Palestinian rights are in ending the Israeli Occupation, in the return of refugees, and in dismantling all settlements built in 1967 occupied lands. Reducing the number of farmers affected by the Apartheid Wall, though important, cannot hide the way in which the Wall is violating all Palestinian rights; what it does do is give legitimacy to illegal settlements built on the Palestinian lands, to blurring the "Green Line" by establishing new borders and strengthening the Israeli Occupation of the West Bank. The Apartheid Wall puts to an end any possibility of an independent viable Palestinian state. On the contrary, the Wall is an expulsion project.

The recognition of the illegality of 30 kms of the Wall by the Occupation's High Court must be understood in its real meaning: it widely opens the way for Israel to continue the construction of the Wall.

The Campaign thus continues in its call:
Tear Down the Apartheid Wall!
End Israeli Occupation and Apartheid!
Boycott and Sanctions on Apartheid Israel!

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