Israeli Prime minister told Sunday his cabinet members that he was sure that the High Court would reconsider its Separation wall ruling if no alternatives to the current rout are possible.
Sharon: Abiding to HC Ruling Helps Israel Encounter ICJ Ruling
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said Sunday that he will oppose legislation aimed at bypassing the High Court of Justice ruling on the separation wall, but said the ruling won’t affect the Ariel section of the wall.
‘It is not the way of a law-abiding government obligated to fully comply with High Court verdict,’ Sharon told his cabinet ministers.
The High Court ruled last week that the state must reroute 30 kilometers of a 40-kilometer stretch of the separation wall northwest of Jerusalem.
Ministers Zevulun Orlev (National Religious Party), Natan Sharansky and Dan Naveh (Likud) are working to legislate a bill bypassing the court decision in order to build the fence in its current planned route.
Sharon also said that the court verdict will help Israel in its struggle at the International Court of Justice in The Hague.
‘I am certain that the explicit ruling of the verdict will be of great assistance to us in the diplomatic struggle awaiting us,’ Sharon said.
New Wall Plans in Two Weeks
A senior Israeli defense ministry official reported Saturday that final plans for a new separation wall route northwest of Jerusalem are expected in two weeks and that the construction will be completed by the end of the year.
According to the same source, the new wall section will be closer to the homes of the Jewish towns of Mevasseret Zion and Har Adar.
While Director General of the Defense Ministry, Amos Yaron, said that the court’s decision may affect the route of the fence in other parts of the West Bank, specially near the settlements of Ariel and Gush Ezyon, Israeli Prime minister Ariel Sharon disagreed, claiming that fewer Palestinians live in the mentioned areas.
Worried over the expected ruling at the International Court of Justice in the Hague, Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom asked Friday the U.S. to use American influence to prevent the decision from being brought before the Security Council for a resolution on the matter.
Even as the U.S. opposed bringing the wall issue to The Hague court, the United States has not guaranteed it would use its veto in the Security Council if the matter is brought to the UN’s top body.
Shalom expressed concerns that Palestinians might use the ruling to seek sanctions against Israel.
The Palestinian representative to the UN, Nasser al-Kidwah, is expected to request an emergency session of the General Assembly, which will take place next Monday or Tuesday.
The official ruling of the court is expected to be made public on Friday afternoon.
While most UN diplomats agree that the court will rule that the separation wall is illegal, most of them expect that it will include a clause, recognizing Israel’s right to defend itself.
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon Thursday ordered the defense ministry to reroute the 30-kilometer stretch of the separation wall and examine whether other parts of the wall.
The wall stretch northwest of Jerusalem was declared illegal by the Israeli Supreme court.
As well, the court issued an interim injunction Thursday ordering the Defense Ministry to halt work on another section in southeast Jerusalem.
The injunction also barred Israel from expelling residents of Nu’aman village from their homes on the grounds that they are residing in Israel illegally.
Nu’man village belongs to Bethlehem district, but was isolated from the Palestinian city by the separation wall, then Israel; considered its citizens who have been living there for hundreds of years as ‘illegally residing inside Israel’
The court decision to declare 30 kilometers of already constructed wall sections illegal on the bases of causing grave harm to the livelihood and freedom of movement of local Palestinians could be used to disallow other sections of the wall as well.
Therefore, Sharon ordered the review the wall’s entire route and make changes where necessary to forestall possible further rulings of the same nature.
While asserting that the construction should proceed ‘full speed’ in areas where there are no legal problems, Sharon said ‘we can move [the wall] a little closer to the Green Line]
Earlier, Mofaz ordered his senior defense ministry officials to prepare several alternative routes for that section of the wall.
Sharon rejected the idea of enacting a law to overrule the court and enable the wall to be built, saying ‘Everyone must understand that there is a ruling, and it must be obeyed,’
The idea was proposed by several cabinet ministers, including Dan Naveh, Uzi Landau, Natan Sharansky and Zevulun Orlev.
Mofaz complained that the failure in providing reasonable humanitarian conditions to Palestinians were due to insufficient funds.