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UN West Bank Barrier Resolution Vote Delayed

General Assembly Delays Vote On West Bank Barrier Resolution

The United Nations General Assembly today delayed until Tuesday a vote on a draft resolution introduced by Arab countries that seeks to end Israel's construction of a separation barrier in and around the West Bank after the barrier was declared illegal by the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

The vote had been scheduled for today after Jordan introduced the draft text last Friday during a resumption of the Assembly's tenth emergency special session on illegal Israeli actions in occupied East Jerusalem and the rest of the occupied Palestinian territory. The Assembly convened today only to hear minor amendments to the text.

On 9 July the ICJ - the UN's principal judicial organ - issued an advisory opinion saying the separation barrier was illegal and that construction must stop immediately. The Court also said Israel should make reparations for any damage caused, and that the Assembly and the Security Council should consider what steps to take "to bring to an end the illegal situation" created by the barrier.

Earlier Tuesday, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan was asked if the Security Council should take up the issue.

"I think [it] is before the General Assembly and I am not aware that the Council is going to take it up at this stage. I think the General Assembly should conclude its work," he replied.

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