For more than half a century Israel has been accused by both Western and Arab nations of violating international law in its treatment of Palestine Israel has vehemently denied these claims
So, has Israel violated international law? Well, the heart of the current Israel-Palestine legal dispute is concerning a barrier wall running along the border of the West Bank The wall is currently 280 miles long, and 26 feet tall Palestine alleges that the wall is an attempt by Israel to isolate them and take over Palestinian land, by affecting their economy, livelihood, and even access to medical care However, Israel argues that the wall is necessary for security
The government claims it was built as a response to the huge number of suicide bombings against Israel during the early 2000s Palestinian uprising, known as the Second Intifada Suicide attacks dropped significantly after the first section was constructed, yet the actual legality of the wall is still disputed Because Palestine is a semi-recognized territory, it does not hold full statehood, and it is difficult for the territory to represent itself on the international stage The United Nations has made repeated attempts at resolutions condemning Israel on Palestine’s behalf, and they've even declared the wall illegal All of these resolutions have been vetoed by the United States, which is one the few members of the UN Security Council, and a close ally of Israel
There is also no single governing body to act as an official world police International disputes fall under what is called “supranational law” One of the only official courts to process such claims is the International Court of Justice, which is the United Nations’ judicial arm In 2003, the United Nations reached out to to the ICJ, requesting an advisory opinion on the matter of the wall The ICJ concluded that the construction of the wall, solely for the security reasons stated by Israel, was, nonetheless, a violation of international law
Specifically they are alleged to have violated the Fourth Geneva Convention and the UN’s Articles on State Responsibility First, the ICJ struck down Israel's self-defense argument, citing that the Palestinian territories were in fact occupied by Israel This occupation was noted to violate the UN Charter and several UN resolutions which prohibit territorial annexation by force, and denying the people of Palestine the right of self-determination As an occupying power, Israel was also said to be in violation of Article 49, Paragraph 6, of the Fourth Geneva Convention It states that “[An] Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies
" The de facto annexation of any land behind the wall, coupled with controversial Israeli settlements built on Palestinian territory, put Israel in violation of the Geneva Convention Finally, the courts noted the Articles on Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts It states that “Necessity”, which Israel argues is the reason for the wall, and the occupation, cannot be used to absolve the wrongfulness of an act in violation of international law But despite this advisory opinion, Israel dismissed the jurisdiction of the the court, and no binding resolution was enacted With the backing of the United States, which has veto power and worldwide influence, Israel is generally able to act with impunity when violating international law
But the wall isn’t the only complaint against Israel by Palestine, just the only one to make it to court To learn about the myriad of reasons the two have been fighting for decades, watch this video up top You can also find out why exactly the United States has been so quick to defend Israel on the international stage, by checking out this video below Thanks for watching TestTube News, don’t forget to like and subscribe for new videos every day!