Implications of Israeli wall in occupied Palestinian Territory "goes beyond legality"

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Oscar Fernández-Taranco. UN Photo/JC McIlwaine

Israel's construction of a wall to separate the country from the occupied Palestinian territory severely restricts Palestinian movement, cuts off land and access to resources for development.

That's what Oscar Fernández-Taranco, Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs said during a special meeting to mark the tenth anniversary of the UN World Court's ruling on the illegality of the wall.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) had issued an advisory opinion in 2004 demanding that Israel cease construction immediately and make reparations for any damage caused.

The Court also said at the time that construction "would be tantamount to de facto annexation" and concluded that Israel could not rely on a right of self-defence or on a state of necessity to justify the barrier.

Mr Fernández-Taranco was speaking on behalf of the UN Secretary-General.

"The wall severely restricts Palestinian movement and access throughout the West Bank, cuts off land and access to resources needed for Palestinian development, and continues to undermine agricultural and rural livelihoods throughout the West Bank. Moreover, the wall and increased settlement expansion have worsened the fragmentation of the Palestinian Territory, compounding the increasing isolation of East Jerusalem from the rest of the Territory."

Over 42,600 claims with 1.1 million supporting documents have been made since 2008, to claim reparations for losses due to the construction of the wall.

Adhering to the ICJ's ruling could be an essential step towards ending the occupation that began in 1967 and make way for an independent Palestinian State, Mr Fernández-Taranco added.

Sophie Outhwaite, United Nations.

Duration: 1’57″

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