Palestine Liberation Organization
Negotiations Affairs Department
July 9, 2012
Dr. Erekat: “Fulfilling Palestinian national rights is a test of the international system’s credibility”
Commemorating the International Court of Justice’s landmark Advisory Opinion on the illegal Israeli Wall, Chief Palestinian negotiator, Dr. Saeb Erekat said “The international court’s landmark advisory opinion affirmed that all states have an obligation to see that the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self-determination and independence is fulfilled.”
Dr. Erekat emphasised the significance of this Advisory Opinion, “The ICJ opinion reaffirmed the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self-determination, the obligation to fulfil this right is a legal and moral obligation.” In this regard, Dr. Erekat regretted “the international community’s inability thus far to end Israeli violations of international law, including the continued construction of the Wall.”
“This lack of accountability has encouraged a dangerous sense of impunity by Israel, borne of continued immunity from international accountability,” added Erekat.
Israel, the occupying Power, began constructing the wall ten years ago. On July 9 2004, the International Court of Justice rendered its Advisory Opinion, which determined that the Wall was illegal under international law and concluded that Israel must dismantle the Wall and make reparations and compensations for damages caused by its construction. The ICJ also expressed concern that the wall could amount to 'de-facto annexation’, which is a violation of the Palestinian people’s legal and national rights, including the right to self-determination.
When complete, the Wall will be 708km, more than double the length of the Green Line. Israel is constructing more than 80% of the Wall on occupied Palestinian land.
Dr. Erekat added that “the fulfilment of Palestinian national rights continues to test the very credibility of the international system and authority of the mechanisms the international community has put in place to resolve conflicts peacefully. As we continue our determined efforts towards our long overdue independence and self-determination, the Palestinian people will use all available multilateral mechanisms and instruments to protect our rights and advance our cause.”
He concluded: “Palestine’s independence is a historic certainty. What remains undetermined is how history will judge the international community and its contribution to Palestine’s long overdue freedom We call on all states to join our efforts in protecting the international system from the mockery continued Israeli violations create.”