After the International Court of Justice ruled at The Hague, that the West Bank Separation wall Israel is building, the Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom said, Israel will continue building the wall.
The Israeli President Moshe Katsav also called on the government and the military establishment to continue building the wall and said ‘The World Court erred by coming up with this ruling, it should have not ruled on such an issue that is related to the lives of Israelis and terrorism’
Katsav described the wall as a security measure and said it has proven efficient and added that this wall is temporary and could be removed in future negotiations.
On his side, Ehud Olmert, Minister of Industry and Commerce said Friday that the ICJ ruling was expected.
‘There is nothing surprising in the decision except the way the court ignored the issue of terrorism. The issue is that there are fatal attacks against our women, men and children on one side, and on the other side, there is a wall that might make it hard for few people, but it does not kill, wound, or cause people serious injuries and does not create orphans.’ Olmert said.
Olmert who described the court panel as immoral added, ‘writing hundreds of pages without mentioning the terrorism and its results can only be done by a body that lost its morals, which are needed for any judicial work.’
The Palestinians on the other hand welcomed the decision considering it a historic day for them.
The Palestinian President Yasser Arafat said efforts will continue until Israel tears down the wall.
‘The World Court’s decision is a victory for all the nations not only for the Palestinians, as the Berlin wall was put down, this racist wall will be put down so we can establish our state with East Jerusalem as its capital’ said Arafat.
Arafat said, ‘A follow up meeting for the Palestinian Authority and the different Palestinians factions will be held soon. We are planning to go to the UN for a decision on the wall. The ICJ ruling paves the road to resume the Road Map, which we accepted entirely while Israel had 14 reservations against it. We believe it is the road for peace, the ‘peace of the braves’ that I signed with my late partner, Yitzhak Rabin who paid his life for this peace’
Besides, the PLO central committee member, Abbas Zaki said ‘Israel has ignored the joy that accompanied the victory of Nelson Mandela over the Apartheid. This wall is not only an enemy for the Palestinians, but for the whole world. The World Court ruling proves that Israel’s conflict is not with the Palestinians, but with the Humanity and the laws of life. This is the first step towards if God wills.’
The opposition leader, Shimon Peres accused the ruling as irrelevant.
‘The Hague ignored that fact that ‘the right to live is basic for the human being’. The real effect of the court can be manifested in ruling against terrorism and not against those who fight it. The problems resulting from the route of the wall should be resolved by negotiations and not by judicial means.’ said the labor party leader Peres.
The Israeli military establishment had announced its rejection of the ruling before it was even published refusing to commit to the international law and questioning its validity.
The Chief of Staff Moshe Yaalon said ‘the old international law does not fit the current war against terrorism. There are civilians involved in this war here. Palestinians target our civilians, we are tightened by this international law, but the Palestinians are not. The fight us in this way, and recruit international bodies that sounds enlightened for the first look, instead of making new laws. The nature of the war has changed.’