End Impunity – anniversary of the ICJ decision on the apartheid wall
Abu Nidal is a farmer from Al-Walaja village in the west of Bethlehem city, in 2008 The Israeli army decided to build a part of the separation wall on his Lands. Building the wall on the land caused a huge destruction of his crops and destroyed many old olive trees. The grave of his parents and 40 dunums of his lands are located on the other side of the wall’s route. Moreover, the Israeli army confiscated most of his land and annexed it to the (Greater Jerusalem). Abu Nidal is not allowed to access that part of his land any more. It actually became so dangerous for him and his family close to the wall or that part of his land since the Israeli army has announced this land as a security areas that people are not even allowed to come close to.
On July 9, it will be 11 years since the International Criminal Justice (ICJ) issued an Advisory Opinion declaring the Separation Barrier illegal. It breaches international law as it snakes through the occupied State of Palestine and not along the Green line violating people’s individual and collective rights. It separates farmers from their lands, families from families, and dictates even who you can love as this story shows. The Wall, along with its associated checkpoints and gates and permit regime, violates Israel’s obligations under international law. The wall is not just a security measure as often cited but allows Israel to continuously expand its borders by confiscating more and more land. It also contravenes Article 49 under the Geneva Convention forbidding the transfer of its own population into the territories it is occupying. In other words the Wall and the colonial settlements it protects and connects is against international law.
The YMCA and YWCA of Palestine support a rights based approach to advocacy therefore we ask the international community to demand that Israel stop the construction of the wall and dismantle the sections already completed; return land already confiscated for the building of the wall, the settlements, and roads and compensate Palestinians who have lost livelihoods as a result of the Wall or settlements. The best way to do this is by advocating for the implementation of the ICJ Advisory Opinion which also obligates us, member states, to comply with responsibilities and legal measures to ensure its removal by not rendering aid or assistance in maintaining the situation.
As the State of Palestine boldly goes forward to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for justice, let us show them that the international community is also working hard to implement this previous ruling from one of the highest criminal courts in the world.
Palestine, like the persistent widow in Luke 18, keeps turning to us for justice. It is time, passed time, for us to answer, and commit ourselves then to not only following international law but assuring Palestinian rights for freedom, dignity, and peace.