As the International Court of Justice’s ruling is being read at The Hague now, the judges unanimously, rejected claims that it has no jurisdiction to rule on the wall issue.
The court said the wall violates international law and should be dismantled.
In the first official comment on the International Court of Justice Ruling at the Hague, the Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmad Qurei welcomed the ruling and regarded it as a real victory for the Palestinians.
‘The court ruling is a major blow to those racists who built the wall with the false justification of security needs’ Said Qurei.
Qurei regarded the court ruling which regarded the construction of the West Bank Separation wall ad a grave violation of the International law as it is illegally built on an occupied land, as a historic one made by the highest court in the world.
The Palestinian Premier described the wall as the ‘hatred and enmity wall’ and said that the Palestinian authority will go to the United Nations Security Council to stop this wall.
‘We will not stop our diplomatic efforts, until we see this wall of hatred pulled down’ Qurei said. ‘If Israel wants a real peace it should declare this wall illegal and remove it.’
As expected, the White House dismissed the ICJ’s ruling, and reiterated its claim that the World Court has no jurisdiction to address such issue.
‘We do not believe that that’s the appropriate forum to resolve what is a political issue. This is an issue that should be resolved through the process that has been put in place, specifically the road map,’ White House spokesman Scott McClellan said.
‘We certainly recognize the need for Israel to defend itself and protect the people of Israel. It’s also important that they allow the Palestinian people to move freely within that region,’ McClellan told reporters.
The court convened Friday at 15:00 Europe time; 16:00 Jerusalem time, with President Judge Shi; Vice-President Judge Ranjeva; and Judges Guillaume, Koroma, Vereshchetin, Higgins, Parra-Aranguren, Rezek, Al-Khasawneh, Elaraby, Owada, Simma, Tomka; Kooijmans, Buergenthal as members.
The Advisory Opinion was read by the President of the Court, Judge Shi Jiuyong.
The final paragraph of the Advisory Opinion (in which the vote of the Court is given) is read in French by the Registrar of the Court, Mr Philippe Couvreur.
All fifteen justices voted that the court has the jurisdiction to rule on the wall issue.
By 14 to 1 vote, the court ruled the following;
Ruling number 1 ‘The construction of the wall being built by Israel, the occupying Power, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, and its associated rÃƒÂ©gime, are contrary to international law.’
Ruling number 2 ‘Israel is under an obligation to terminate its breaches of international law; it is under an obligation to cease forthwith the works of construction of the wall being built in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, to dismantle forthwith the structure therein situated, and to repeal or render ineffective forthwith all legislative and regulatory acts relating thereto, in accordance with paragraph 151 of this Opinion; forthwith the structure therein situated, and to repeal or render ineffective forthwith all legislative and regulatory acts relating thereto, in accordance with paragraph 151 of this Opinion.’
Ruling number 3 ‘Israel is under an obligation to make reparation for all damage caused by the construction of the wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem’
Ruling Number 4 ‘The United Nations, and especially the General Assembly and the Security Council, should consider what further action is required to bring to an end the illegal situation resulting from the construction of the wall and the associated rÃƒÂ©gime, taking due account of the present Advisory Opinion.’
All first 4 rulings were favored by 14 judges except the American Judge Buergenthal.
On the other hand, the justices voted by 13 to 2 vote that ‘All States are under an obligation not to recognize the illegal situation resulting from the construction of the wall and not to render aid or assistance in maintaining the situation created by such construction; all States parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 12 August 1949 have in addition the obligation, while respecting the United Nations Charter and international law, to ensure compliance by Israel with international humanitarian law as embodied in that Convention;
All judges were in favor except Judges Kooijmans (Netherlands), Buergenthal (USA).