George Rishmawi-IMEMC & Agencies – 2004-07-24 11:32:19
(July 23, 2004) — The Palestinian Observer in the United Nations, Nasser Al-Kidweh, said Thursday that the Palestinian commission to the UN is to propose a resolution to impose International sanctions against the companies and all parties the contribute in building the West Bank Separation wall.
The International court of Justice (ICJ) has ruled on July 9, that the Wall Israel is building on the Occupied West Bank is illegal and called Israel to dismantle it and compensate the Palestinians for the damage caused during the construction process. The ICJ, as well called the world not to contribute to the construction of the wall and boycott those who do so.
A week ago, the UN general Assembly adopted the ICJ ruling with 150 votes of 191 and called Israel to tear down the barrier. As the Security Council has legal authority — unlike the General Assembly — the Palestinians hope the Council will pass a resolution condemning Israel. In addition to the sanctions, the Palestinians will also ask that Israeli settlers will be denied entry VISAs to many countries in the world.
The Palestinian efforts that are based on these two world resolutions are facing a serious threat by a possible US Veto in the Security Council. In case of a Veto against imposing binding sanctions through the UN Security Council, provided that at least ninr countries voted in favor, the Palestinians can ask for a non-binding resolution in the Security Council.
Despite the very low chance of no US veto, some still believe that the recommendations of the UN General Assembly will trigger some boycott against Israel by some countries, especially if this is supported by a non-biding resolution by the Security Council.
Despite some warnings by the Israeli Minister of Justice Yousef Lapid, Israel has explicitly expressed its negligence of the World Court ruling and the General Assembly’s decision and the Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon gave orders to press in constructing the wall. “If we do not ‘respect’ Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories, we will find ourselves in the same situation South Africa was in” Lapid said.
Palestinians hope that the UN will follow the example of the case of the Apartheid in South Africa to impose sanctions on Israel.
UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said, “Israel should heed and pay attention to the court’s decision even though it is not enforceable. It has some moral bearing on what they do.”
On the other hand, Israeli officials believe no sanctions against Israel will succeed; however, they want to avoid getting into this trouble. The Israel deputy Ambassador to the UN Arieh Mekel said Israel talked with the Europeans on not allowing a General Assembly session on the Wall in September, which all the world leaders will attend. “They have crossed the line, they are putting rules for Israel which have never been implemented on other countries, regarding self-defense Issues” said Mekel.
Al-Kidwa meanwhile said: “It is not Palestine versus Israel. It is the United Nations versus the occupying power.” However at the recent session of the General Assembly, the Israeli Ambassador to the UN, Danni Gillerman, slammed the UN representatives. “I feel that the United Nations, the General Assembly and personally every single person in this room are being taken for a ride and abused by the Palestinian observer,” said Dan Gillerman, Israeli Ambassador to the UN.
The Security Council has imposed sanctions against the Apartheid South Africa in 1977 for its grave violations of Human Rights and discrimination against the indigenous people of the land.