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ICJ Ruling and Action Reports


ICJ Ruling and Action Reports

1) Grassroots Palestinian Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign Press Release Concerning ICJ Ruling

2) Interview Contacts for ICJ Decision

3) ACTION ALERT! Protest Clinton and Schumer objection to ICJ verdict

4) Returning to the Land: Biddu Action Report

5) Report from Az-Zawiya Action

6) Report from July 5th Prisoner’s Action in Nablus and link to other Nablus reports.

1)

*** Press Release ***

July 9, 2004

The International Court of Justice Declares: The Wall is Illegal! Palestine Demands: Immediate Sanctions and Boycott of Apartheid Israel!

Contact:

Jamal Juma’: +972-522-85-610;

Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign: +972-258-56-408;

info@stopthewall.org

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the Hague, despite intense pressure from Israel, the US and EU Governments, confirms what Palestinians and the world have known since the beginning of its planning and construction – THE WALL IS ILLEGAL!

Citing the Right to Self Determination, the Fourth Geneva Convention, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, relevant human rights and humanitarian law, as well as the Rights to Freedom of Movement, Work, Education, Health, Food and Water, Religion and the Right of the Child, the ICJ voted 14-1 that “construction of the wall and its associated regime are contrary to international law,” 14-1 that Israel must immediately cease construction of the Wall in all areas, dismantle parts already build and repeal any legislation or regulation relating to the Wall and 14-1 that Israel must make reparations for damages caused by construction of the Wall.

The ICJ reiterates the illegality of Israeli settlements and their relationship to the Wall’s path, referring to the Wall’s unilateral demarcation of a new border in the West Bank, seizure and destruction of property, the effective annexation of occupied lands and settlements and the demographic changes within Palestine as a result of the Wall’s construction. In an important assertion, the Court fully disregards the relevance of the Israeli position that the Wall is for “security” or “self defense.”

In response to the ruling, the illegality of the Wall and the ongoing destruction to Palestinian communities on the ground:

• Mass Demonstration will be held today in Ar Ram, at the Protest tent (approximately 100 meters from the Dahiat checkpoint), after the Friday noon prayer. The demonstration will include massive mobilization of Palestinians from the Northern West Bank communities affected by the Wall and the rest of the West Bank.

• Internationally, central mobilization has been taking place in The Hague with solidarity Demonstrations being held in many countries around the world.

Of course, we cannot trust that the Court decision alone will make the Wall fall – the international community must take action and demand that the decision have an impact on the ground. Israel has a clear history of violating UN resolutions, as was recognized in the ICJ opinion, and has explicitly stated that it will not accept any ruling of the ICJ. Further it has secured guarantees from the United States that they will veto any action by the UN Security Council to enforce the ICJ opinion.

Should Israel, the US, the European Union or any other country attempt to avoid their legal obligation to stop construction of the Illegal Wall, they would be in clear contempt of the ICJ’s opinion in which a 13-2 vote stated that “all States are under an obligation not to recognize the illegal situation resulting from the construction of the wall and not to render aid or assistance in maintaining the situation created by such construction.” The court reinforced this point with a 14-1 vote that the “United Nations and especially the General Assembly and the Security Council should consider what further action is required to bring an end to the illegal situation resulting from the wall and the associated regime.” In statement number (145), the ICJ also makes the argument that Israel has a responsibility to search for and bring to justice the crimes of any person involved in the “plan

"This opinion will only mark an important event in the struggle against the Apartheid Wall and for Human Rights Law and International Humanitarian Law, if the UN, world governments and the international community demand the implementation of the opinion and act to sanction Israeli Apartheid for its crimes against the Palestinian people, ensuring that the US does not use its veto power to undermine the international judicial process, " says the coordinator of the Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign.

In response to the ICJ opinion, the Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign is calling for immediate action: Construction on the Wall must be stopped immediately, all existing sections must be dismantled and compensation must be offered to those who have suffered from its devastation.

The demands of the Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign are that:

• the UN to immediately call for a General Assembly Meeting imposing, without further delay, international sanctions and an arms embargo on Israel, as demanded already in November 2003;

• the EU to immediately suspend its economic, cultural and scientific association agreements with Israel;

• Governments worldwide break off diplomatic relations.

In addition, we are calling upon the People of the World to:

• strengthen their support for the Palestinian struggle against the Apartheid Wall and the Israeli Occupation;

• pressure their governments to take responsible action and enforce the opinion with continued mobilization;

• call for popular boycott of all Israeli goods and institutions until the Wall falls and Israel complies with International Law and all UN resolutions.

An ICJ Advisory Opinion is not merely an opinion, is an official jurisprudence of the highest judicial body in the United Nations Systems and to diminish the weight of the Advisory Opinion is to contradict the principles established in the Charter of the United Nations, as well as the role of the International Court of Justice (ICJ). In reference to the value of their own opinion, the ICJ highlighted the value of their 1971 ruling against South Africa's occupation of Namibia, after which the international community imposed sanctions on the Apartheid State. Popular boycott, International isolation, economic sanctions and diplomatic pressure have supported the South African Anti-Apartheid Movement in its struggle against a racist and colonialist regime and have brought South Africa Apartheid to an end.

To download the entire ICJ ruling in PDF format, please click on the following link:

http://www.stopthewall.org/downloads/pdf/ICJ-Ruling.pdf

-----------------------------------

2) Interview Contacts for the ICJ Decision and the Wall

July 9, 2004

The West Bank

Name; Phone; E-mail; Description

Ramallah District:

- Huwaida Arraf; 972-67-473-308, 972-59-260-990; huwaida@palsolidarity.org, huwaidaa@riseup.net; ISM

- Jamal Juma’; 972-52-285-610, 972-50-638-985; outreach@pengon.org, info@pengon.org; PENGON Stop the Wall

- Michael Tarazi; 972-67-527-002; PLO Negotiation Affairs

- Mustapha Bargouthi; 972-2-298-5372 (Office), 972-59-254218 (Cell); Director of HDIP

- Hanan Ashrawi; 972-59-201-207 (Cell), 972-2298-9490 (Office); MIFTAH Director

- Ayed Morrar; 972-67-924-952; abuahmed@riseup.net; Budrus community leader, wall resistance

- Iltezam Morrar; Iltezam@riseup.net; Budrus, 15 year old community leader, wall

resistance

Jerusalem District:

- Mansour Mansour; 972-55-804-830; Biddu, ISM, wall resistance

Qalqilya District:

- Sharif Omar; 972-67-369-771; Jayyous community leader, wall resistance

Salfit District:

- Faza’ Bidah; 972-59-751-279; PENGON NGO Coalition Rep for Salfit

- Nasfat Khufash; 972-52-337-257; Salfit Popular Committee Against Wall

Bethlehem District:

- Ghassan Andoni; 972-54-436-9975; g_andoni@yahoo.com; ISM, Centre for Rapprochement

Israel

Name; Phone; E-mail; Description

- Jeff Halper; 972-50-651-425, 972-2-624-5560; jeff@icahd.org; ICAHD

- Gila Svirsky; 972-67-515-797; gsvirsky@netvision.net.il; Coalition of Women for Peace

- Jessica Montell; 972-2-674-9111 (Office), 972-2-651-7101 (Home); B’Tselem Director

- Amira Hass; 972-50-252-056; Ha’aretz Reporter

- Yonatan Pollack; 972-66-327-736; cat@squat.net; Anarchists Against the Wall

- Arik Ascherman; 972-50-607-034; ravarik@actcom.net.il; Director Rabbis for Human Rights

- Yehudit Harel; 972-3-5404996, 972-56-263-145; ye_harel@netvision.net.il; Anti-occupation activist

- Michel Warshawski; 972-64-733453; mikaic@alt-info.org; Alternative Information Center

US and Other

Name; Phone; E-mail; Description

- Adam Shapiro; (202) 494-0471; adamsop@hotmail.com; ISM

- Women of a Certain Age Delegation c/o Adam Shapiro; (202) 494-0471; American women’s delegation that recently visited Palestine

- Dorothy Zellner; 212-222-5249 (h), 718-340-4441 (w); US Civil rights activist and Palestine activist

- Rami Khouri; Rami.Khouri@dailystar.com.lb; Editor of Beirut Daily Star

- Ronnie Kasrils; 27-12-336-7500; zaj@dwaf.pwv.gov.za, ronkas@dwaf.gov.za; South African Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry

-----------------------------------

3) ACTION ALERT! Protest Clinton and Schumer objection to ICJ verdict

Dear All,

Ha'aretz reports that Senators Hillary Clinton and Charles E. Schumer plan to publicly protest the ICJ decision: "New York senators Hillary Clinton and Charles Schumer announced that they will deliver statements against the International Court's decision in front of the United Nations building in New York City." http://www.haaretzdaily.com/hasen/spages/449648.html

Hebrew: http://www.haaretz.co.il/hasite/spages/449662.html (not identical to the English, but has the info regarding Clinton)

Let's try to flood their mailboxes, faxes, phones with protests to their opposition to the ICJ verdict. Their contact info and sample letter below.

Thanks, Dorothy =============

Hillary Clinton: http://clinton.senate.gov/email_form.html email form

http://clinton.senate.gov/offices.html contact info for offices throughout New York state

Washington DC fax 202 228 0282 phone 202 224 4451

=============================================== Sen. Charles E. Schumer

email form http://schumer.senate.gov/webform.html

Washington DC office fax 202 228 3027 phone: 224 6542

http://schumer.senate.gov/SchumerWebsite/contact/contact.html

additional contact info throughout NY state ================================== Dear Sen. Clinton,

It has come to my attention that you support Israeli construction of the so-called 'security' wall in Occupied Palestine and intend to contest today's ICJ verdict against the wall.

I request you to reconsider your stand on the so-called 'security' wall.

This wall will not bring security to Israel. Israel has one in Gaza, yet Palestinian missiles fly over it, despite the best efforts of the Israeli military.

The wall can only cause much greater hardships for Palestinians, and hence more violence against Israel.

I feel certain that if you were to tour and inspect the wall and see what it does, you would reconsider your support for it.

Please, indeed, reconsider and do not oppose the ICJ verdict.

By opposing the ICJ verdict, you support the expropriation of Palestinian lands, but do no favor to Israelis.

Sincerely,

-----------------------------

4) Returning to the Land

Max

Biddu

I have not been here in months. The streets and shops are all the same. Boys riding their bikes. The exhaust of too many yellow services (taxis). I remember sitting here, walking there. I remember where the soldiers stood with their rifles; I remember marching up this road, exhausted, encouraged by the resilience of the Palestinians. Once more, we’ll try to stop the bulldozers! Once more, we’ll try to push past the soldiers! For a moment I can smell the tear gas, hear the sound grenades, see the monster bulldozer achieve the crest of the hill, its blade pushing onwards through the olive grove.

But the winter has fled, and with it those first demonstrations where a quiet village was violated and five residents of the northwest Jerusalem area were killed by Israeli bullets. It is summer now and flowers have bloomed by the mosque. Some of the people recognize me, come over, shake my hand as we wait for noonday prayers to end.

The demonstration today was quiet, an uncommon event here in northwest Jerusalem, less than a kilometer from the Green Line. The people marched uninhibited by soldiers to the razed hilltop between Biddu and Beit Surik. Uninhibited. State violence and repression are so common and so normal that a demonstration without soldiers feels like a snow day in Florida (or maybe heat stroke in Sweden). Some wild, exceptional event. How kind, I cannot help thinking bitterly, that today the military permits these people to walk five hundred meters in their own village without lobbing tear gas and worse down on their heads.

I know its absurd but somehow I am surprised that they have survived (not physically, but in their spirit). Sure, there is the economic toll. You can see around the eyes, in the tightly drawn lips, the ever present question: without our trees, without our land, how will we make it? But there is also the cultural devastation. The olive trees are not just possessions, not just things like refrigerators or cell phones or cars. They are history, symbols of struggle, evidence that the Palestinians have earned their land through generations of labor and love. Living on and tending to the land is an inseparable part of rural Palestinian identity. When occupation forces raze citrus groves, uproot olive trees and deface the land, they are assaulting what it means to be Palestinian. (They are also creating a situation in which many Palestinians will have to work as cheap labor in Isra

So many have suffered these past four years of Intifada, losing family members, friends, jobs and homes. Yet, these people gather still to demonstrate; to announce that they are still alive, equally human, and fully deserving of respect and fair treatment. We are still here, they say, from winter to summer and back to winter again. Look, and you will see the light of our eyes vanquishing the inhuman shadow cast by this wall.

------------------------

5) Report from Az-Zawiya

There was a large symbolic demonstration in Az-Zawiya village this afternoon against the destruction sown by the Apartheid Wall. Five hundred Palestinians, along with Israeli and international activists, held a peaceful march celebrating and affirming the ICJ ruling against Israel’s so called ‘security barrier.’

And this celebration was much deserved. After many weeks of demonstrations, in which scores of non-violent demonstrators were injured, a court injunction stopped the construction in many of the villages in the Salfit region. Not only do the people of Az-Zawiya continue to resist the construction of any barrier to peace, commerce, and freedom of movement, whether it be made of concrete, steel, or anything else, they also call upon the International community to reinforce the Hague’s decision by pressuring Israeli to cease its devastating attacks on Palestinian life and culture.

----------------------

6) “At Least Our Martyrs are in Heaven, but Our Prisoner’s Still Live in Hell” - Report on July 5th Action and Testimonials from Prisoner's families

July 05, 2004 ISM Nablus By: Kole

The words come from the mother of Bassam Mohamed Ghazi Kitani (21) who is currently being detained in Gelboa prison with 600 other Palestinian detainees. Gelboa is one of the newest additions to the complex of Israeli prisons that houses some 6,000-7,000 Palestinian detainees and is a heavily fortified attachment to the notorious Shatah prison that has quickly gained a reputation for brutality. Conditions at Gelboa have yet to be reviewed by human-rights organizations. The difficulty of the situation for families in Nablus is compounded by the fact that they have been denied visitation rights to family members detained in Israeli prisons since the Israeli military invasion of the city in April 2002 (due to the closure imposed on the Governorate).

Today, representatives from the Prisoner’s Club, International Solidarity for Human Rights, the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU), Abna al-Balaad (Sons of the Land Society), the Ministry for Prisoners, the Prisoner’s Families Committee, the High Committee of Prisoner’s Affairs, the Prisoner’s Ansar, the Campaign to Free Hussam Khader, the Palestinian Medical Relief Society (PMRS), and the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) converged in front of the offices of the International Red Cross with members of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) to demand that the 1,400 families affected by the incarceration of their relatives from Nablus be given full visitation rights as in other parts of the West Bank.

Bassam’s mother is seated next to his fiancé, who holds his picture and is crying. There’s also a photo of his brother, Abdel Rahman Mohamed Ghazi Kitani (23), that is being held by the sister of the two young men. Abdel is currently in Ofra detention facility his mother explains. They have both been in prison for around a year now, taken from their homes in Nablus by the Israeli Army two weeks apart from each other. “Everybody must know what is happening in Gelboa,” their mother continues.

Another woman interjects, “The prisoners often do not get water. The wardens took all their clothes except what was on them when they were arrested. They take pictures of them naked as the Americans did in Abu Gharib.” She is the wife of Emad Rihan who has been in prison since the beginning of the intifada she explains. Two weeks ago his brother was arrested, the family already has two martyrs and the military demolished the family home a few years back. She hasn’t seen her husband for three years now. “There is almost no contact. I only get letters from the Red Cross every three months. I’ve only seen him in Court briefly, but we are not allowed to wave to each other or talk. Only eye contact is allowed.”

“Nobody from the Red Cross has visited Gelboa until now. This prison is very crowded we’ve heard. Prisoners sleep on the floor because there are not enough bunks for them. They take a small portion of labne [thick Palestinian yogurt] in the morning, shared among four people, the bread comes for lunch, and at night, dinner is one salty pastry. We’ve heard these stories from other parents. I tried sending pictures of his children but they where confiscated. When he was arrested we had just had another child. 10 days old. I tried sending him satin pajamas also, they cost 100 NIS, but even these he hasn’t seen yet. I don’t try sending anything but letters anymore and some money for the canteen.”

The women have no real information on their loved ones, only where they are. Instead they try to construct a picture in their heads from families of prisoners from other parts of the northern West Bank – like Tulkarem, Jenin and Qalqiliya – that can visit these places or from former prisoners themselves who describe what the conditions in these places are like. They are frustrated that the Red Cross and other human-rights organizations aren’t taking a proactive stance in trying to secure their release or – at the very least – try to secure visitation rights for the families of detainees that are from Nablus.

“The prisoners have no human rights,” Rihan’s wife continues. “Three years after Emad was taken, they judged him. Who’s religion is this anyway? In what country is this normal? They found him with a cellular phone a few years back and for this they put him in solitary confinement. Where are the human rights organizations? Why aren’t they asking about them? Why aren’t they checking the conditions in these prisons? The human rights organizations and the Red Cross tell us that their mandate is only to locate where our family members are being held, not to check the conditions. They say they aren’t allowed to visit Gelboa. What do the Israelis have to hide? Rihan can’t even communicate with his lawyer. Before and after he enters court he is strip searched. They make him take all his clothes off. We used to talk by phone, but if we said anything they didn’t like they would cut the line.

The families stage weekly demonstrations on Mondays in front of the Red Cross hoping that the international community will do more to lift the restrictions imposed on their right to visit family members. This is yet another form of collective punishment imposed by the Israeli military on the residents of Nablus. At today’s march some 150-200 people showed up to push forward the demand to end this situation. A letter, signed by representatives of all the organizations present, was handed to the Red Cross officials in Nablus responsible for the situation of prisoners. The delegation sent to deliver the letter was given a diplomatic, but cold, response to the effect that the “International Red Cross will continue in its efforts to end the restrictions on movement imposed on the residents of Nablus and continue to seek a solution to the present situation.” For the women we met today, su think of peace? How can you imagine a peace under these conditions?”

UPDATE: On July 7th, prisoners at Gelboa mutinied due to the harsh prison conditions confronting the detainees. To read more about the incident click here http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/3869269.stm

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