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Israel Will Ignore World Court Barrier Ruling

[ Following up an earlier story, Israel is appealing to the U.S. to support its plan to complete the illegal wall that gives Israel greater control over the West Bank. The Israeli foreign minister’s claim that “Israel can deal with this issue by itself” in effect asks the world to trust Israel itself to reach a just solution on the Palestinian issue. That’s about as crazy as trusting the Bush Administration not to violate international law, which is just what the Administration requested of the Supreme Court! –BL ]

Jul 2, 2004 | Reuters

WASHINGTON – Israel’s foreign minister said on Friday his government would not accept a World Court ruling on the legality of its West Bank barrier and pressed for U.S. support to block any U.N. action against the Jewish state.

The International Court of Justice, also known as the World Court, will render its judgment in a public hearing on July 9, one of the most high-profile rulings in its 58-year history.

“We believe that Israel can deal with this issue by itself,” Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom said at the White House after talks with U.S. national security adviser Condoleezza Rice. “We can’t accept any external involvement from the International Court of Justice.”

“We don’t believe it’s the place that this issue should be discussed. It should be discussed between the two parties — the Israelis and the Palestinians — with other members that are involved in the peace process,” he told reporters.

The U.N.’s top court said it would hand down an “advisory opinion.” Such a ruling is non-binding, but Israel fears the General Assembly, where pro-Palestinian sentiment is strong, could use it to lobby for sanctions against the Jewish state.

Shalom said he was asking the United States to do “everything it can” to block passage of a Palestinian-backed U.N. resolution on the barrier.

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