Dr. Azmi Bishra, Arab Member of the Israeli Knesset and his comrades suspended their seven-day hunger strike on Friday after the International Court of Justice ruled that the Separation wall Israel is building on the West Bank land is illegal.
Bishara and the others went on hunger strike and camped in a tent near Al-Ram town north of Jerusalem were a section of the wall is being built, protesting the construction of the wall especially the sections that surround East Jerusalem.
The protestors published a leaflet at the end of their strike in which they said ‘In light of the victory realized in the International Court of Justice’s ruling we suspend our hunger strike and go out to our people to tear down the ugly wall with the court decision’
The leaflet said, the leadership and the people will continue with their resistance to the wall and work together to set a work plan to implement this world decision by taking it to the United Nations and its Security Council to force Israel to adhere to and abide by the international law.
Dr. Bishara and the other protestors started this strike seven days ago in the tent and were visited by several Palestinian and International supporters.
In an attempt to tell the world that it can deal with the problems of the wall away from the World Court, the Israeli High Court ruled that two sections of the wall east of Jerusalem to be rerouted as they badly affect the life of the Palestinians in principle.
The Israeli Prime Minister ordered the military establishment to reroute the mentioned sections but hoped that the court will reconsider its ruling if alternatives were not possible.
Local observers said if the court to rule on the same principle on the entire wall, the court should rule that at least %89 of the wall to be rerouted in a way that its route will not obstruct the natural life of the Palestinians.
Bishara on the other hand, opposes building the wall in principle even if it is built on the green line.
‘We should not change our attitude as the enemy other side wants, or say that they will not implement the decision, because things work as the US wants, this will make them very comfortable. Nations do not change their attitude every now and then. If so, South Africa would have stayed Apartheid. I think the world Court ruling is a lesson to the Arab countries and some Palestinians. Thus, I suggest for the Palestinians and the Arabs to thoroughly read the ruling. Had this ruling been issued by some other body, they would have been accused of being extremists’ Bishara said.
According to Bishara, the suspension of the hunger strike was based on the request of the Palestinian factions of the PLO and the Popular Committee Against the Wall after the court pronounced the ruling at The Hague.
It is true that I have decided to start the strike myself, and I packed for 20 or maybe 30 days, but soon religious and national figures joined me and then the action was adopted by the Popular Committee against the Wall and took the task of guarding the tent and organizing everything. Therefore, the decision is mine alone anymore and I am happy with that.
Bishara regarded this move [the hunger strike] as a turning point in the way of resisting the wall as thousands of Palestinians, and International activists came in solidarity to the tent. The tent attracted the attention of many people.
Bishara commenced the ICJ ruling on the wall and said that it is an excellent one in all respects. Bishara described it as ‘putting things in its actual terms, there is an occupying power and an occupied nation and territory. It held the world responsible to fulfill there commitments to the International Charters, convention and law. These are the basis set by the court in its ruling and said that these should be the basis for resistance also’
The court did not only rule that the wall is illegal, but also demanded Israel to tear it down and emphasized that the UN should take the necessary steps because the Security Council is the only body capable of taking practical measures.
Bishara emphasized that the court asked the world not to cooperate with any measure that might encourage continuing the construction of this wall.
This ruling establishes an International Legitimacy and clearly proves that the world unanimously agreed on. If the US will VETO a resolution to outlaw the wall, the United States will completely contradict the International Law.
Commenting on the Israeli reaction and the statements of not respecting the world court ruling by continuing to build the wall, Bishara said, ‘the Israeli reaction was expected. In fact these statements put Israel above the International Law. This position by Israel should be boycotted and resisted. We should not give up to the opinion which says that the wall problems can be solved by future negotiations. If things were not solved through the international legitimacy, Palestinians will lose, because the power is imbalanced and solutions will be dictated. Here comes the importance of the International Courts and forums as the only way to solve the Palestinian Israeli conflict in a fair just way.