Arab Envoys to the United Nations said Friday that Palestinians will ask the United Nations General Assembly next week to adopt a resolution affirming the International Court of Justice ruling against the West Bank separation fence, and will then bring the issue to the Security Council.
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan will be asked to report on the implementation by Israel of the court’s decision.
While Palestinians expressed satisfaction, Israeli officials were angered with the ruling, accusing it of ignoring Israel’s security needs.
Palestinian president Yasser Arafat hailed the ruling as a victory for his people.
‘This is an excellent decision. We thank the court in The Hague, This is a victory for the Palestinian people and for all the free peoples of the world.’ He said.
Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei welcomed the court ruling, saying ‘This racist wall is illegal to the root and Israel should stop building it and take down what has already been built of this wall. We welcome this decision,’
In a leaflet issued Friday, Hamas hailed the court’s decision, saying it proves that Israel violates all international laws.
On the other side, Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman accused Friday the court with failing to address the essence of the problem, ‘the reason for building the wall’
Ra’anan Gissin, a senior advisor to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, said Friday
‘I believe that after all the rancor dies, this resolution will find its place in the garbage can of history. The court has made an unjust ruling denying Israel its right of self-defense,’
Dan Gillerman, Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations said Friday ‘This is a dark day for the international court of justice and the international legal system,’
The International Court of Justice ruling on Friday stated that ‘the court is not convinced that the specific course Israel has chosen for the wall was necessary to attain its security objectives.’
The court concluded that the separation wall contravenes international law, demanding the dismantling of the wall and compensating Palestinians for damage caused.
The decision was made public at 4 P.M. Friday under the heading, ‘Legal implications of the construction of the barrier in Palestinian occupied territory.’
Fourteen judges voted in favor of the decision, American Judge Thomas Buerghenthal was the only one who opposed the decision.
The court ruling will included the following paragraphs:
# ‘The wall, along the route chosen, and its associated regime, gravely infringe a number of rights of Palestinians residing in the territory occupied by Israel, and the infringements resulting from that route cannot be justified by military exigencies or by the requirements of national security or public order.’ The court ruling
# ‘The construction of such a wall accordingly constitutes breaches by Israel of its various obligations under the applicable international humanitarian law and human rights instruments.’
# ‘ Israel is bound to comply with its obligation to respect the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and its obligations under international humanitarian law and international human rights law. Furthermore, it must ensure freedom of access to the Holy Places that came under its control,’
The court ruling accuses Israel with violating international humanitarian law, by infringing on Palestinians’ freedom of movement, freedom to seek employment, education and health, including international treaties Israel had signed.
The court was asked to deliberate on the issue of the security wall by a United Nations General Assembly resolution of last December.