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Commentary :: Civil & Human Rights

BTL:2-Decisions Find Israel's Security Wall Violates Rights of Palestinians~

~Interview with John Quigley, professor of law at Ohio State University conducted by Between the Lines' Melinda Tuhus
Two-Decisions Find Israel's Security Wall Violates Rights of Palestinians

Interview with John Quigley, professor of law at Ohio State University conducted by Melinda Tuhus

Two recent court rulings have declared illegal at least some portions of the 425-mile security barrier Israel is building, one-quarter of which is finished. Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon says the barrier is necessary to protect Israelis from Palestinian attacks. But Palestinians say it is a land grab, since most of the barrier is being built on the Palestinian side of the border, and in many parts well inside Palestinian territory.

On June 30th, Israel's Supreme Court ruled that 20 miles of the barrier must be rerouted because that segment violates the human rights of Palestinians, even if Israeli security is compromised by the changes. The court said that while Israel has a right to build a wall, the route chosen "severely violated" freedom of movement and "severely impaired" the livelihood of locals, leaving villages in a "virtual chokehold."

On July 23th, the International Court of Justice issued an advisory opinion that construction of the wall violated international law. It ruled that Israel must stop construction and dismantle parts already built in occupied Palestinian territory, including areas in and around East Jerusalem. The advisory opinion has been sent for consideration to the United Nations General Assembly, which has historically upheld the rights of Palestinians. Between The Lines' Melinda Tuhus spoke with John Quigley, professor of law at Ohio State University and author of the book, "Palestine and Israel: A Challenge to Justice." He describes the impact these court decisions may have on public opinion in the Middle East and on Washington's historic support for Israeli security policy.

John Quigley's book, "Palestine and Israel: A Challenge to Justice," is published by Duke University Press.

Related links:

" Why You Should Care About the Separation Wall,""> by Arjun Chowdhury, CommonDreams.org, July 13, 2004

" Sharon Defies UN with Pledge to Keep Building Barrier After Bus-Stop Bombing," by Eric Silver in Jerusalem, the Independent/UK, July 12, 2004

"Between The Lines" is a half-hour syndicated radio news magazine that each week features a summary of under-reported news stories and interviews with activists and journalists who offer progressive perspectives on international, national and regional political, economic and social issues. Because "Between The Lines" is independent of all publications, media networks or political parties, we are able to bring a diversity of voices to the airwaves generally ignored or marginalized by the major media. For more information on this week's topics and to check out our text archive listing topics and guests presented in previous programs visit: httC://www.btlonline.org
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