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International Court of Justice Advisory Opinion Says Israel's Security Fence Is Illegal

(July 9, 2004)

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) at The Hague ruled unanimously that it had jurisdiction to give an advisory opinion on the question of the legality of Israel’s security fence referred to by the UN General Assembly. By a series of fourteen to one votes (the American judge dissenting), the Court decided the construction of the barrier is contrary to international law and that it must be dismantled. The ruling also called for Israel to make reparation for all damage caused by its construction. The Court said the UN should consider further action against Israel to end the “illegal situation.”

Israel ignored the opinion, relying instead on the decision of the Israeli Supreme Court – which ruled that Israel has a right to build a security barrier.

See full text of opinion (pdf format).