United Nations General Assembly Resolution ES-10

(July 20, 2004)


This Resolution calls on Israel to comply with the advisory International Court of Justice ruling to dismantle the security fence and pay reparations toPalestinians who might have incurred damages as a result of its constrcution. With a vote of 150 in favor, 6 against and 10 abstentions, the Assembly adopted the resolution with the support of dozens of nations that had opposed sending the issue to The Hague last December. The Assembly resolution, which is not binding, demanded that Israel abide by the ICJ's July 9 advisory opinion condemning the fence as illegal and demanding that Israel tear down sections built beyond the Green Line. The resolution also called on UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to compile a list of damages incurred by the Palestinians as a result of the fence's construction, and it called on the High Contracting parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to convene on the issue. The United States voted against the resolution.


The General Assembly,

Guided by the principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations,

Considering that the promotion of respect fro the obligations arising from the Charter of the United Nations and other instruments and rules of international law is among the basic purposes and principles of the United Nations,

Recalling General Assembly resolution 2625 (XXV) of 24 October 1970, on the Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation among States in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations,

Reaffirming the illegality of any territorial acquisition resulting from the threat or use of force,

Recalling the Regulations annexed to the Hague Convention respecting the laws and Customs of War on Land, or 1907,

Recalling also the Geneva Convention relative to the Protections of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, and relevant provisions of customary law, including those codified in Protocol 1 Additional to the four Geneva Conventions,

Recalling further the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child,

Reaffirming the permanent responsibility of the United Nations towards the question of Palestine until it is resolved in all aspects in a satisfactory matter on the basis of international legitimacy,

Recalling also relevant Security Council resolutions including 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967, 338 (1973) of 22 October 1973, 446 (1979) of 22 March 1979, 452 (1979) of 20 July 19979, 465 (1980) of 1 March 1980, 476 (1980) of 30 June 1980, 478 (1980) of 20 August 1980, 904 (1994) of 18 March 1994, 1073 (1996) of 28 September 1996, 1397 (2002) of 12 March 2002, 1515 (2003) of 19 November 2003, and 1544 (2004) of 19 May 2004.

Recalling its resolutions of the tenth emergency special session on illegal Israeli actions in Occupied East Jerusalem and the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territory,

Reaffirming the most recent resolution of the fifty-eighth session of the General Assembly, 58/292 of 17 May 2004 on the status of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem,

Reaffirming the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, including their right to their independent State of Palestine,

Reaffirming also the commitment to the two-state solution of Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security within recognized borders, based on the pre-1967 borders,

Condemning all acts of violence, terrorism, and destruction,

Recalling its resolution ES-10/13 of 21 October 2003, in which it demanded that Israel stop and reverse the construction of the Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem,

Recalling also its resolution ES-10/14 of 8 December 2003, in which the Assembly requested the International Court of Justice to urgently render an advisory opinion on the following question:

What are the legal consequences arising from the construction of the wall being built by Israel, the occupying Power, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, as described in the report of the Secretary-General, considering the rules and principles of international law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, and relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions?

Having received with respect the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice on the "Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory", rendered on 9 July 2004,

Noting in particular that the Court replied to the question put forth by the General Assembly in resolution ES-10/14 as follows:

A. "The construction of the Wall being built by Israel, the occupying Power, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and its associated regime, are contrary to international law;

B. Israel is under an obligation to terminate its breaches of international law; it is under an obligation to cease forthwith the works of construction of the Wall being built in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, to dismantle forthwith the structure therein situated, and to repeal or render ineffective forthwith all legislative and regulatory acts relating thereto, in accordance with paragraph 151 of this Opinion;

C. Israel is under an obligation to make reparation for all damage caused by the construction of the Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem;

D. 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; all States Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 12 August 1949 have in addition the obligation, while respecting the United Nations Charter and international law, to ensure compliance by Israel with international humanitarian law as embodied in that Convention;

E. The United Nations, and especially the General Assembly and the Security Council, should consider what further action is required to bring to an end the illegal situation resulting from the construction of the wall and the associated regime, taking due account of the present Advisory Opinion."

Noting that the Court concluded that "the Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (including East Jerusalem) have been established in breach of international law",

Noting also the statement made by the Court that "Israel and Palestine are under an obligation scrupulously to observe the rules of international humanitarian law, one of the paramount purposes of which is to protect civilian life", and that "in the Court's view, this tragic situation can be brought to an end only through implementation in good faith of all relevant Security Council resolutions, in particular resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973)",

Considering that respect for the International Court of Justice and its functions is essential to the rule of law and reason in international affairs.

1. Acknowledges the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice of 9 July 2004 on the legal consequences of the construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem;

2. Demands that Israel the occupying Power, comply with its legal obligations as identified in the advisory opinion;

3. Demands that all Member States of the United Nations comply with their legal obligations as identified in the advisory opinion;

4. Requests the Secretary-General of the United Nations to establish a register of damage caused to all the natural or legal persons concerned in connection with paragraphs 152 and 153 of the Advisory Opinion;

5. Decides to reconvene to assess the implementation of this resolution with the aim of ending the illegal situation resulting from the construction of the wall and its associated regime in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem;

6. Calls on both the Government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority to immediately implement their obligations under the Road Map in cooperation with the Quartet, endorsed by Security Council resolution 1515 (2003), to achieve the vision of two States living side by side in peace and security, and emphasizes that both Israel and the Palestinian Authority are under an obligation scrupulously to observe the rules of international humanitarian law;

7. Calls upon all States Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 to ensure compliance by Israel with the Convention, and invites Switzerland, in its capacity as the depositary of the Geneva Conventions, to conduct consultations and to report to the General Assembly on the matter, including with regard to the possibility of resuming the Conference of High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention;

8. Decides to adjourn the tenth emergency special session temporarily and to authorize the President of the General Assembly at its most recent session to resume its meeting upon request from Member States.


Source: Keinon, Herb, Radler, Melissa. "Israel Slams Europeans for UN Fence Vote." The Jerusalem Post, (July 21, 2004)