International Court of Human Rights Judgement clear: Bot must accept the Court’s decision and act accordingly

9 July 2004

International Court of Human Rights Judgement clear: Bot must accept the Court’s decision and act accordingly

The International Court of Human Rights (ICHR) has determined that Israel’s building of the wall in the occupied Palestinian Territory is against international law. According to the Court, Israel cannot fall back on the right of self-defence. The Israelis were enjoined by the Court to respect the rights of the Palestinian people and thus uphold the rules of international law. The wall must therefore be demolished. “It’s time that Foreign Minister Bernard Bot showed the courage to draw the right conclusions from this judgement and to act accordingly,” said Socialist Party (SP) MP Harry van Bommel.

The notorious security wall

Van Bommel is delighted by the Court’s decision, describing it as “a first step on the road to justice. But now it has to be put into practice. The SP is pleased that the Palestinian people have won a victory in their struggle against this scar on the landscape and on history. We will continue to support this struggle.”

The full text of the decision includes a demand that work on the wall in the Occupied Territories and around East Jerusalem stop and that those sections which have already been built be demolished, while the Palestinian people must be compensated for past damage and houses which have been destroyed must be rebuilt. The Court has further ordered Israel to return land, orchards, olive plantations and other non-mobile goods lost as a result of the wall’s construction. Every state has a responsibility to push the Israelis to conform to the rules of international law. The court has also called upon the General Assembly of the United Nations to consider further action against Israel designed to put an end to the illegal situation which continues to exist as a result of the building of the wall.

Calling the judgement “a logical consequence of the rules of international law,” Van Bommel said that “the Israeli government must end its brutal policy of annexation. If the international community expects to be taken seriously, it must be prepared to take measures against Israel. The Netherlands, as current holders of the EU Presidency, must act if this title is worth anything at all. It is high time that Mr Bot showed that he has the courage to take international law seriously.”

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