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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!


【時事英文】以色列違反了什麼國際法? (What Are Israel's Violations of International Law?)

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gotony5614.me97 發佈於 2016 年 4 月 29 日    劉采翎 翻譯    Mandy Lin 審核
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