July 9 marked one year since the International Court of Justice issued its “Advisory Opinion,” a legal ruling relative to the construction of the Wall of Racial Segregation in the West Bank and Jerusalem.
In the opinion of many experts, that ruling was one of the most important efforts by the UN in connection to the Palestinian cause since the 1947 approval by the General Assembly of the Resolution on the Partition of Palestine.
The World Court held that the construction of the Wall was illegal and demanded the demolition of the part that had been built and the immediate cessation of all work on the barrier. That same position was echoed by the UN General Assembly on July 20, 2004 in Resolution ES-10/15. Nonetheless, Israel rejected both resolutions, as is habitual with regard to all international resolutions disapproving of its aggressive, expansionary policies infringing on international law, particularly the 1949 Geneva Convention.
During that period, several international organizations and active Palestinian forces were given to the task of prompting the execution of the ruling of the Court of The Hague at all levels. The Israeli government though—with its habitual intransigence and contempt for a resolution from the highest international authority—announced on July 10 its decision to erect the last section of the Wall of Separation around Jerusalem. This construction will isolate four Arab neighborhoods from the rest of the city and will annex the Maaleh Adomim neighborhood to the city, a step directed to recast the Jerusalem’s demographics and to deprive it of its Arab half.
The Israeli announcement of the approval of the plan sends a clear message to the international community and reflects the Zionist’s decision to forge ahead in its challenge to international will and law. With this it also seeks, in contravention to the judgment of the International Court of Justice, to demonstrate that Israel does not view the Palestinian territories as occupied territories and therefore is not bound to apply the standards of international Laws, neither the UN Magna Carta and much less the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949.
The Israeli government’s decision reflects the true intention of the Hebrew state in connection to the future of a permanent solution, that is to say, the establishment of a status quo that impedes the emergence of an independent and sovereign Palestinian state; at the same time Israel is denies the right of the Palestinian people to their self-determination. For that reason, the Israeli government is taking maximum advantage of the “jubilation” provoked around the “separation” of the Gaza Strip to deliver a coup de grace to the basis of its political plan, and at the same time to direct a sound slap in the face to the international community – showing unequivocal scorn for all the values of justice and the law.
The ruling of the International Court of The Hague firmly condemned all measures adopted by Israel in Jerusalem since its occupation in 1967 on the basis of the inviability and illegality of the appropriation of lands by force and/or their annexation for an irreversible status quo.
In that same context, the Court pointed out that the Security Council’s rejection of Israeli initiatives in Resolution 289 of 1971 in which the Hebrew state explicitly outlined that “all the legislative and administrative measures adopted by Israel to transform the status of the City of Jerusalem, including the confiscation of lands and properties and population transfers (...) are inadmissible in their entirety and cannot change its status” – that is to say, an occupied city.
The construction of the new section of the Wall of Separation, as approved by Sharon’s Government on July 10, deepens the process of change of the judicial status of the occupied city and the loss by 300,000 Palestinians of their right to reside in Jerusalem. These individuals will be trapped behind the wall and outside of the city, detached from their former lives in Jerusalem and handicapped from free movement and access to their places of study and work. In other words, Israel is pursuing a plan of racial purification, committing actions in the city and its surroundings that support Judaization so as to reach the strategic objective of guaranteeing a Jewish majority in Jerusalem.
With that decision, the Israeli government is advancing the deliberations of the Israeli Supreme Court on the construction of the Wall around Jerusalem and is initiating a national and international campaign to reactivate The Hague resolution.
Everything indicates that Israel is not willing to seriously try make good on its formally agreed upon commitments. It regards neither the force of international law nor the logic of understanding and negotiations; instead it is engrossed in the execution of its strategy without taking into account any type of considerations.
The International Court of Justice views the construction of the Wall as a “kind of a collective punishment and violation of individual and collective freedoms, as well as of the economic, social and cultural rights of the Palestinian people, with the application of humiliating discriminatory measures. In addition, it creates plots of territory on which Palestinian people will have to exercise their right to self-determination, transforming these into isolated areas very similar to the Bantustans.”
Sharon’s government is quite aware that the Wall would cause great injustice to the Palestinian people and its national homeland, yet it pursues its plan with calculation. What is required is the mobilization of all the official and popular potentialities of our people to confront that plan, beginning with a wide Arab and international campaign. This is required as we face the accelerating escalation of the devastation of elements of Palestinian life and consequently of the possibilities of establishment of an independent state.
It is necessary to approach the Security Council and the UN General Assembly regarding the issue of the Wall and to put in vigor the ruling of the The Hague court. At the same time it is necessary to demand the international community to exercise pressure on Israel beginning with the The Hague ruling which insists that no state recognize the illegal situation created by the construction of the Wall and calls on nations to abstain from offering assistance with its maintenance.
The court determined that all signatory states of the Fourth Convention of Geneva should “guarantee the submission of Israel to the UN Magna Carta, in agreement with that which is stipulated in that convention."
What are necessary are world solidarity and the unity of all forces with the Palestinian people to demolish that disgraceful wall and end the segregation that curbs the right of that people to have an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.