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Swords into Plowshares is the blog of the Peacemaking Program and the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations of the Presbyterian Mission Agency of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

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July 9, 2014

10 years after the International Court of Justice Advisory Opinion

Today, I attended the Committee on the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People meeting recognizing the 10-year anniversary of the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the construction of a separation wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The Committee stated, “The Wall is but one element of the wider system of severe restrictions on the freedom of movement imposed by Israel, the occupying Power, on the Palestinian civilian population in the West Bank. There are currently well over 600 closure obstacles, including checkpoints, obstructing Palestinian movement within the West Bank. In addition, the system of roads constructed by Israel in connection with the Wall and settlements is increasingly segregated: travel on hundreds of kilometres in the West Bank is restricted or prohibited outright for Palestinians, whereby Israelis are allowed to travel on them freely. About one third of the West Bank, including Occupied East Jerusalem, is completely prohibited to Palestinians without a special permit issued by the Israeli military.”

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon stated, “Both Israelis and Palestinians have the right to live in peace and security, with dignity and prosperity.  Violence on all sides must stop.  Adhering to the Advisory Opinion is an essential step towards ending the occupation that began in 1967; making way for an independent, sovereign, viable and prosperous Palestinian State, living side by side in peace with Israel within secure and recognized borders; and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace in the Middle East.”

Members of the committee also heard from Human Rights Watch, a group representing a voice within civil society, which pushed the committee and the Palestinian government to strongly push for legal protections.

You can read the Court’s advisory opinion here. For more information about the Special Meeting of the Committee, click here.


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