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Last Updated: Friday, 9 July, 2004, 17:21 GMT 18:21 UK
In quotes: Israel barrier ruling reaction
The separation barrier around al-Ram, near Jerusalem
Israel says the barrier protects it from suicide bombers
Even before the International Court of Justice in The Hague had finished delivering its verdict on Israel's West Bank barrier, reaction began to pour in.

Israel, the Palestinians and the wider world had already heard leaks that the court would rule against the legality of the barrier.

This is their reaction:

ISRAEL

"The only decision that matters for the government is the verdict of the [Israeli] supreme court".
Israeli Justice Minister Tommy Lapid

"This criminal terrorism has left over the last three-and-a-half years nearly 1,000 [Israeli] people dead and tens of thousands wounded in more than 20,000 attacks. No country would have acted differently in the face of such a criminal campaign. Since the erection of the barrier, the number of victims has fallen substantially. The barrier is working."
Israeli government statement

"This is going to go to the UN General Assembly. They can decide anything there. They can say that the earth is flat. It won't make it legal, it won't make it true and it won't make it just."
Israeli Finance Minister Binyamin Netanyahu

"The real barrier is the Palestinian terrorism. The only way to remove the barrier is to stop that terrorism, and this can be done, as the court said, by negotiations based on the roadmap. This ruling will bring comfort to those who think they do not need the roadmap."
Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Arthur Lenk

PALESTINIANS

"I consider today a historic day... They said it has to be torn down and we say that we must tear it down."
Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei

"This is an excellent decision. We thank the court in The Hague. This is a victory for the Palestinian people and for all the free peoples of the world."
Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat

"The international community, notably the United States, should be on the side of international legitimacy and stop dealing with Israel as a state above the law."
Palestinian Negotiations Minister Saeb Erekat

INTERNATIONAL

"We do not believe that that's the appropriate forum to resolve what is a political issue. This is an issue that should be resolved through the process that has been put in place, specifically the road map."
US President George Bush's spokesman

"We have underlined that the wall not only results in confiscation of Palestinian land and causes untold humanitarian and economic hardship, but also could prejudge future negotiations and hinder a just political solution to the conflict."
EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana

"After the legal picture has become clear, the international community should consider how to get Israel to abide by international law."
Spokesman for Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa



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