PLO Executive Committee Member Dr. Saeb Erakat today released a statement commemorating the 11th anniversary of the International Court of Justice’s historic condemnation of the Israeli annexation wall.
Erakat said that despite the ICJ’s opinion that the international community bears responsibility for putting an end to Israeli crimes in Palestine, countries around the world have not fulfilled their obligations towards the Palestinian people.
He said that the international community has failed to put enough pressure on the Israeli government to end its policy of settlement expansion (illegal under international law), and in fact the settler population increased from 425,000 settlers in 2004 to around 600,000 today.
He condemned the fact that some countries have actually taken steps to strengthen their ties to Israel despite it being a ‘belligerant occupying power in contravention of international law’.
150 Palestinian communities are trapped and isolated between the Israeli annexation wall and the 1967 borders.
The wall creeps into Palestinian territory in blatant violation of the agreed ’67 borders, with the Israeli Supreme Court just this week giving the green light to a new section through the Cremisan Valley. This section would separate 58 Beit Jala families from their land and is a thinly-veiled land grab with the aim of expanding the illegal settlements of Gilo and Har Gilo.
Erakat called on the international community to act in accordance with the ICJ opinion in transforming its support of the Palestinian right of self-determination into ‘tangible steps’.