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ICJ Advisory Opinion on Israel's Security Fence, 9 July 2004

Israeli Statement

The International Court of Justice was asked to address the question of Israel's security fence as a result of a politically-motivated maneuver, which Israel and over thirty leading democracies did not support. Israel cannot accept this politicization of the Court.

As expected, and as a result of the one-sided question put before the court, the Advisory Opinion fails to address the essence of the problem and the very reason for building the fence - Palestinian terror. If there were no terror, there would be no fence.

This Palestinian terror has taken the lives of nearly one thousand Israelis in over twenty thousand attacks over the last three and a half years, wounding thousands more, leaving broken families, widows and orphans. No other country would act differently in the face of such an evil campaign.

Since the fence has been in operation, the number of casualties has decreased significantly. It is reversible, whereas the lives taken by terror are not. Moreover, the fence works. It is a temporary, non-violent security measure and it saves lives.

As long as the terror continues, Israel will have no choice but to defend its citizens. This is our moral and legal obligation.

Israel continues to seek the necessary balance between protecting the lives of its citizens and the humanitarian needs of the Palestinian population. We will continue to do so, in accordance with the rulings of our Supreme Court, which alone has the capacity to fully address all aspects of this matter. The fact that every individual affected by the fence has the right to directly petition Israel's Supreme Court ensures legal recourse without the need for outside involvement.

The only way to resolve the differences between Israel and the Palestinians, including the dispute over the fence, is through direct negotiations, as stipulated by UN Security Council resolutions and the Roadmap.

An essential condition for such negotiations is the cessation of Palestinian terror. The solutions to the problem lie in Ramallah and Gaza, from where the terror is directed, not in the Hague or Manhattan.

Israel calls on the Palestinian side to end their campaign of terror and to return to the path of negotiations.

Israel calls on the international community not to lend their hand to the ongoing Palestinian attempts to use international fora to avoid fulfilling their own commitment to fight terror.

Public Affairs Department
Embassy of Israel

  Israel's U.N. Ambassador Dan Gillerman said that the barrier would remain as long as suicide bombers keep attacking Israelis. He said it was "shocking and appalling'' that the court failed to recognize that the anti-terror partition was "a temporary, nonviolent security measure'' that had reduced terrorist attacks against Israelis by 90%. In almost four years of violence, 964 Israelis have died in Palestinian terror strikes.


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