Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall

Advisory Opinion

The Court finds that the construction by Israel of a wall in the Occupied Palestinian
Territory and its associated régime are contrary to international law; it states
the legal consequences arising from that illegality

THE HAGUE, 9 July 2004. The International Court of Justice (ICJ), principal judicial organ of the United Nations, has today rendered its Advisory Opinion in the case concerning the Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (request for advisory opinion).
In its Opinion, the Court finds unanimously that it has jurisdiction to give the advisory opinion requested by the United Nations General Assembly and decides by fourteen votes to one to comply with that request.

The Court responds to the question as follows:
– “A. By fourteen votes to one,
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 régime, are contrary to international law”;
– “B. By fourteen votes to one,
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”;
– “C. By fourteen votes to one,
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”;
– “D. By thirteen votes to two,
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”;
– “E. By fourteen votes to one,
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 régime, taking due account of the present Advisory Opinion.”

Legal consequences of the violations found
The Court draws a distinction between the legal consequences of these violations for Israel and those for other States.

In regard to the former, the Court finds that Israel must respect the right of the Palestinian people to self‑determination and its obligations under humanitarian law and human rights law. Israel must also put an end to the violation of its international obligations flowing from the construction of the wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and must accordingly cease forthwith the works of construction of the wall, dismantle forthwith those parts of that structure situated within the Occupied Palestinian Territory and forthwith repeal or render ineffective all legislative and regulatory acts adopted with a view to construction of the wall and establishment of its associated régime, except in so far as such acts may continue to be relevant for compliance by Israel with its obligations in regard to reparation. Israel must further make reparation for all damage suffered by all natural or legal persons affected by the wall’s construction.

As regards the legal consequences for other States, the Court finds 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. The Court further finds that it is for all States, while respecting the United Nations Charter and international law, to see to it that any impediment, resulting from the construction of the wall, in the exercise by the Palestinian people of its right to self‑determination is brought to an end. In addition, all States parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention are under an obligation, while respecting the Charter and international law, to ensure compliance by Israel with international humanitarian law as embodied in that Convention.

Finally, the Court is of the view that 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 its associated régime, taking due account of the present Advisory Opinion.

The Court concludes by stating that the construction of the wall must be placed in a more general context. In this regard, the Court notes that Israel and Palestine are “under an obligation scrupulously to observe the rules of international humanitarian law”. In the Court’s view, the tragic situation in the region can be brought to an end only through implementation in good faith of all relevant Security Council resolutions. The Court further draws the attention of the General Assembly to the “need for . . . efforts to be encouraged with a view to achieving as soon as possible, on the basis of international law, a negotiated solution to the outstanding problems and the establishment of a Palestinian State, existing side by side with Israel and its other neighbours, with peace and security for all in the region”.

Read whole

Also,

Developments Since World Court Opinion on Israeli Wall ‘Less Than Promising’, Palestinian Rights Committee Told

World court tells Israel to tear down illegal wall

US Veto Over the Israeli “Separation Wall” Would Threaten the Rule of International Law

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