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World court examines barrier row


Palestinian representatives have put an impassioned case to the World Court against Israel's West Bank barrier.
They argued that the barrier - part fence, part wall - made the creation of a viable Palestinian state impossible.

Israel says the wall is necessary to prevent suicide bombers from killing civilians, and argues that the hearing could undermine the current peace plan. Protests erupted along the barrier, with Israeli troops firing tear gas at stone-throwing Palestinians.

The United Nations General Assembly asked the International Court of Justice to consider the barrier issue.

The court ruling - if one is made - is not expected for several months and will not be binding. However, correspondents say it would have great symbolic importance.
Israel's barrier and the world court


The case at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) over the barrier Israel is constructing in the West Bank opened with mutual accusations between Israelis and Palestinians and a sense among many countries linked to the peace process that a ruling from the court would not help their task.

It is shaping up to be every bit as contentious as the General Assembly resolution of 1975, which declared Zionism a form of racism. That resolution was revoked in 1991 for the opening of peace talks in Madrid.

Public hearings opened on 23 February. Forty-four governments sent in written opinions, along with the UN itself, the Arab League and the Organisation of the Islamic Conference.

Israel has also sent a submission but it is boycotting the oral sessions on the grounds that it is all a propaganda exercise. Palestine, with observer status at the UN, sent a written argument and opened the oral hearings.


if the wall creates a bit of peace on either side however enforced it can only be a good thing, the land grab issue is a dodgy one tho

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