Yesterday the International Court of Justice (I.C.J.) at the Hague published its Advisory Opinion on Israel’s West Bank Wall. The court ruled in favor of the Palestinians, condemning those parts of the barrier that effectively annex Palestinian land, and calling for its dismantling in the Occupied Territories.
The opinion also found that Israel was obligated to return confiscated land or make reparations for any destruction or damage to homes, businesses and farms caused by the barrier’s construction.
The ruling was the second against the barrier in the past two weeks. Israel’s high court ruled June 30 that a section of the barrier under construction must be rerouted to avoid infringing on the lives of 35,000 Palestinians.
Of course Israel is refusing this ruling and saying that it’s non-binding and that they don’t have to comply with it even though it indicates that Israel is in violation of international law and of international legitimacy.
Israel is claiming that the wall was built to bring them security and that since the barrier was built less and less attacks were happening against their people.
But wait, shouldn’t a wall built for Israel’s security actually have been built between Israeli and Palestinian land, not between Palestinians and their fields, schools, jobs, medical service, and family members?!
There is talk that sanctions could be seeked against Israel to force it to comply with this ruling. But obviously, the US would veto that without thinking.
Anyway, even though this ruling won’t really mean that the wall will be brought down, it still is an important step for the Palestinians. It will help put pressure on the people who defened Israel no matter what it does and it will give Palestinians more international support, something they really need.
It also comes an important expression of solidarity with the hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who are suffering the effects of the illegal barrier, and with the thousands of Palestinians and Israelis who have been peacefully protesting against it over the past months.