UN passes resolution sending Israeli barrier issue to ICJ

11 December 2003
The UN General Assembly on 8 December passed a resolution asking the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague to make a ruling on the legality of the controversial 'security fence', which separates parts of Israel from the West Bank. The assembly voted 90-8 in favor of the resolution, and 74 countries abstained.

Following the vote, the UN observer for Palestine, Nasser al-Kidwa, described the barrier as 'a wall of shame, built on a foundation of killings and human rights violations, which must be removed immediately'. He said that the world stood against the building of the 'expansionist wall' and that many countries had been subjected to immense political pressures before the vote. 'This wall is a false excuse used as a justification for colonising our land and establishing settlements,' he said.

Conversely, the US representative to the UN, James Cunningham, said that the resolution had been one sided. He said that the text was 'completely unbalanced', and highlighted that 'it does not even mention the word terrorism'. Israeli ambassador to the UN, Dan Gillerman, said: 'This is an Arafat fence,' referring to the Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat. 'His terrorism initiated it and made its construction inevitable.' (MEED 28:11:03)

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