On 9 July 2004 the International Court of Justice (ICJ), issued an advisory opinion on “The Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.” After comprehensive examination of its own jurisdiction and relevant international law, the ICJ found the construction of the Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), its associated regime of movement restrictions, land confiscation and property destruction, and the Israeli settlements, to be in breach of international law. The advisory opinion held that Israel must cease construction of the Wall, dismantle those parts already constructed in the OPT, and provide remedy to the affected Palestinian civilians. The ICJ also clearly delineated the obligations of third-states in respect of Israel’s breaches of international law and further expressed 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 the associated régime, taking due account of the present advisory opinion.”
Far from complying with the advisory opinion, over the past three years the construction of the Wall has continued unremittingly, as has the expansion of illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank, and the associated violations of international human rights and humanitarian law. In a striking example, since the issuing of the advisory opinion East Jerusalem, recognised by the UN Security Council as an integral part of the OPT, has been all but amputated from the West Bank by the Wall, settlements and severe movement restrictions.
While Israel, as the occupying power, bears primary responsibility for violations of international law in the OPT, in conspicuously failing to take action to bring Israel into compliance with international law, the international community ha